Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Shedding Skin...

Time has been a real issue lately, but it is always in September when I return to my lecturing job after the summer break. New term, new students, new timetable, preparation, planning. It all takes over for several weeks until things start to embed themselves.

On top of all this I’m still painfully slowly completing an application for some funding to develop my work that I can’t seem to get completed. I am nearly there now though, and hope to send it off soon. I’m not especially optimistic, far from it, but the process of working on it has been extremely useful in itself. It has really helped me distil and refine my thinking about what my intentions with my painting really are, and how to get things onto a different sort of plane. I’m very excited about it, as I know much more clearly about what I want to do, and more importantly what I don’t want to do, and how I am going to pursue this. Strangely given this clearer thinking, I also for the first time in years I have no idea about how some of the things I hope to create in the coming months will appear and take shape. It feels very liberating. I feel like I’m almost shedding skin.

Underpinning a lot of my thinking and writing has been a lot of research around different ideas and influences that I will hopefully share in the blog a bit more. One of my current obsessions has been the work of acclaimed American photographer Stephen Shore, whose work illustrates this post. I’ve been looking at his ‘Uncommon Places’ and ‘American Surfaces’ series, and really enjoying his images of the seemingly banal and commonplace. Approached without any irony, but with a great eye for the details and textures of our lives across a range of subjects encountered on his many journeys, I find myself really attracted to these photos and the way the artist re-presents the world back to us, the viewer. I do believe the banal can be a very powerful form of expression, and Shore’s images really assert this.

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