I am so incredibly inspired by my fellow artists, near and far. I am also endessly fascinated by the world, in all its beauty and horribleness. Hence the new name of this blog ‘Everything is Interesting.’ (I am totally bewildered by the fact that people can ever get bored!)
So yesterday I attended a forum for regionial artists put on by Regional Arts Victoria, themed ‘What’s Success Anyway?’ It was a great day, generating lots of new thoughts & connections and if I get a chance I will try to sort out my notes and write something cohesive up from them. But for now, just a few personal reflections I thought were worth sharing. So rarely as artists do we get the chance to reflect on our work and nourish oursleves through connecting with others in our field. Yesterday reminded me how important this is and that sometimes we don’t take the time, or have the space, to even recognise our successes.
When thinking about successes we might like to share I came to recognise my role with local group Ballarat Arts Alive, and their events I organise called Art Sparks. These aim to bring people together to celebrate different artists, artforms, and spaces and are a kind of extension of a casual event we used to hold at our house in Brunswick called Creative Dinners- a chance to meet people, share work (and cheese!) and discuss ideas and issues related to the creative life. Despite my stress sometimes associated with running Art Sparks (and self-care was an issue discussed yesterday too with one speaker mentioning the dangers of ‘worshipping your own ability’ at the cost of sleep, sanity etc) I am proud to say that this project that I got started in 2011- around notions of connectivity and inspiration- is going strong and now going into its third series. More here about the next one coming up soon!
Another thing that came up in the session was the enduring nature of artists (ability worship aside!) that linked in perfectly with a quote Erin at Yum Studio happened to share the same day, about ‘daring to do’ regardless of outcome, rendering concepts of failure and success irrelevant. We dig deeply, we persist, we keep throwing it out there. This is so important, as is the strength we draw from each other. In another serendipitous link, today I read a great discussion between artist and curator Kent Wilson and artist Anton Hasell on Kent’s blog Golden ArtNet.
There are so many beautiful parts to this interview and I highly recommend reading it but one is that need for artists to be bold in their thinking and to keep going despite difficulties. I was personally bolstered up by quotes like these:
“For an artist, one has to be on the edge of our seat in excitement and anticipation, seeing what’s needed, what’s important, before anyone else and feeling the frustration of trying to persuade recalcitrant others to the ‘rightness’ of the new vision, new forms, new processes and new feelings that lead to our better living.”
There is also the lovely image Anton conjures of art acting as a message in a bottle through time, a reaching out and I couldn’t agree more that “the embrace of loving hands by artists (and thinkers) from the past is reassuring. They are my friends and I connect with them through their works…Artwork is a portal through which the living meet their kind amongst the distant or dead.” Or with great events that bring artists together, we can find our kind close-by too.
And whilst recognising successes, no matter how small, a friend yesterday described me as one of the hardest arts workers and most creative minds he knew. Thank you for the kind words. I must be doing something right!