I am a ‘project-based’ artist. By this I mean that I am not driven to make work by some inner art voice, spurring me to rise up and make an art object at 3am. I have many roles in life, and the role of artist is easily subsumed in these. Setting project deadlines, whether external or self imposed, is key to making any work at all. I most enjoy thinking over a project idea inspired by research and exploration and following where this might lead. I like a surprise and I like to learn as I go.
Evidence of the evolution of ideas are key to my working practice, and any ‘final’ work ideally poses another question rather than answering any already set. Final conclusions don’t interest me as much as new questions arising from old.
I work with a sense of exploration and getting to a place without having it in mind first. Process is important to me.
A selection from Sol Le Witt’s Paragraphs on Conceptual Art says it very well.
“In terms of ideas the artist is free even to surprise himself. Ideas are discovered by intuition. What the work of art looks like isn’t too important. It has to look like something if it has physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned. Once given physical reality by the artist the work is open to the perception of all, including the artist. (I use the word perception to mean the apprehension of the sense data, the objective understanding of the idea, and simultaneously a subjective interpretation of both). The work of art can be perceived only after it is completed…
If the artist carries through his idea and makes it into visible form, then all the steps in the process are of importance. The idea itself, even if not made visual, is as much a work of art as any finished product. All intervening steps –scribbles, sketches, drawings, failed works, models, studies, thoughts, conversations– are of interest. Those that show the thought process of the artist are sometimes more interesting than the final product.”