The problem is creativity. If it’s in you, it’s gotta come out. You can hang up your apron, turps those paintbrushes and think it’ll all go away; hibernate like a lap-top screen light. Oh no! Creativity does not like entrapment. Its release is a bug-bear. The release is sweet.
“Artists are lonely people”, declared a lonely rich artist. Boo hoo. Bovvered? Why do they go to Orkney then to be alone and paint the turquoise waves again and again? They want that lonely anti-social existence. Look at the composer on Hoy. Lonely? Never far away from council tax, I tell you. Artists want to be lonely. I can call myself an artist but I like to mix in with the mix. I have done the remote island life and felt my creativity ebb and flow in my gut. Not a good place to be. There was no outlet, no energised audience soaked in the arts with the language of appreciation and critique. “Aye” repeated in front of a bull copulating or a wild flower reproduced in oils doesn’t shift anything forward and outwards.
Last week was all art workshops. Each leader asked us to define art. We were on the shores of Lake Hippy by the time the crayons got passed around.
Company and I went along to a collage workshop, to a conceptual art project launch as participants, and to a relaxation through art session complete with candles and oo-ah tinkly bell waterfall music. I feel I’m spiralling very slowly on a bouncy bouncy spring coil going back down in time and then up again to a very unclear unstructured no direction future. I am learning absolutely nothing. But I am socialising and laughing, forming sentences, sharing ideas and even lending out freely my phrases such as “the integrity of the artist”. Like that one, I do.
In the same room will be people who have not benefitted from formal education with its National Curriculum art, science and English with maths. There will be people who think they have no place to speak out loud and people with obvious special needs. Their experience of art has been determined by domestic and class situations. They are receptive to any definition of art. And so am I. I’d rather share a cup of tea with them and a Rich Tea biscuit than live the solitary life of the self-diagnosed artist.
It is evident from their own cosy arrogant admissions that many art workshop facilitators are not formally qualified in art. (No sh*t). I myself was thrown off an art course because I insisted on wearing corduroy trousers, back in the day. I have not set myself up though as a workshop facilitator. It’s that thing where anyone who does art is assumed to be a teacher of art. It’s a falsehood. A teacher teaches more than just technique and I continue to be disappointed for every facilitator who drops their ‘t’s in the word ‘artist’ or the word “community”!
So we did collage and scribbling and listened to how another art project is going to snub what’s out there which parades arrogantly as any adjective will do art, fills Shoreditch shopfronts and which spawns artspeke in all its twas brillig nonsense.