It is so nice to be me again. I forgot who I was.
I have revisited music from my teenage years, Nirvana and Hole especially, I remembered what it felt like to be 13 years old and feel like an odd one, a black sheep and how the music made me feel like I wasn't the only one. I read through old journals and surprised myself with what I have done and who I have become. I found a bit in my diary from the mid 90's that said how Nirvana had changed my life, I know it sounds dumb but is true, the nature of what I wrote about in my diaries changed around then and the things that concerned me also became more thought out, it was probably growing up as well but it did help me define who I wanted to be.
All this writing and thinking has made me wonder if clay is a prison. Limiting myself to one media. I feel this loyalty to clay, probably from reading too much Ceramic Review. I feel obliged to use clay. I like to paint portraits and insects and do other things as well. I was reading the other day about Taylorism and the division of labour, how industrialization and the streamlining of the workforce has separated the hand from the brain. People who make on factory floors do not conceive ideas like they did back in the day when a carpenter would design make and sell their work. It is all broken up. This happens in art as well. In some cases the artist has the idea and someone else makes it. So is ceramics dead? Am I flogging craft from a bygone era that is now only reserved for rich people who can afford lovey hand made things. I don't like that idea. I don't want to make cute things that go with bunting, and I don't like Bernard Leach.
If we are talking about clay I really like the work of Małgorzata ET Warlikowska for me it is ballsy, feminine, disquieting. It is about culture and media, it is relevant to the world we live in. I feel stuck in a rut, my work is too tame. I need to dredge myself dry. I need to be true to myself.
I read this quote from George Bernard Shaw....
"Whilst we......the conventional....were wasting our time on education and organization some independent genius has taken the matter in hand..."
That scares the crap out of me. What if we are so bogged down with every day life etiquette, like the court of Louis XIV ruled to tiniest nth my an absolute monarch. I heard that he made up so many stupid rules to keep his court occupied that they didn't have time to think up ways to rebel. He even had them grow their little finger nail because the right way to knock on a door was my scratching it with your little finger nail. What if everyone has something to give? But we are so worried about what size clothes we wear whether we have the right ideas/opinions/outlook.
The thing is there is no truth only opinion and knowledge. Every one has different opinions and it was once knowledge that the earth was flat. So everyone should just do what they like as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Trouble is if anyone feels like I do, sometimes I don't know who I am, or what I think, and I don't have the luxury of TIME, to think about all these things and do something about it. To create art is a luxury.
So how do I access myself, how do I make my true feelings and ideas rise to the surface and how do I know they are real? I get that we are part of a society and the culture and conventions of that society will have a bearing on who you are. If I was born in Syria I would not be making pots that look like TITS. But still on some level I worry about saying the wrong thing about not being PC. It is generally true that all new ideas start on the margins of society Outside Society. Some are absorbed into the mainstream, like Grunge music and others stay on the edges. Some ideas are wrong and therefore fade away, some simmer away until their time comes. Those that are absorbed become part of everyday culture and that is one of the ways we move forward. Point is YOU HAVE TO BE ON THE OUTSIDE you have to be courageous and take the shit from people who don't agree with your ideas. But still do it. You have to find the time to think the thoughts, to know your own voice among all those around you, and then you have to do something about it.
So I know that I need to know myself. I know that I lost sight of myself in the day to day life of an ordinary 30 something woman in the 21st century. I hope when I return to work on Friday 13th of February and don't go back under and I remember this moment.