I received an email from a friend last week which had a a footer a quote from the artist Louise Bourgeois which went
“An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing.”
Rather than being obvious, it spoke to me. The words reverberated the walls of safety that I cling to in several areas of my creative life – in Painting, I’ve often felt braver when exploring new materials, new series of artworks. I sometimes paint in public and call it Skylarking (I will be Skylarking next month at the Flat Planet Cafe in Great Marlborough Street on the 15th of March), the subjects that I delve into during a skylark depends on the audience, what I perceive from them. In turn I have to start to be an open channel before an event – whatever comes out don’t block it, let it flow. Whatever comes in, accept it and take it up. It’s not really painting, it’s not really acting, it’s expressing the moment and committing it visually or aurally. Sometimes I balk at the things that emerge or that I’m shown, but the thing is to go there.
In Theatre, where I’ve often felt the tension of being an actor and a theatre-maker exhausting: I was always one wanting to take direction like a good boy, while always wanting to create from my own ideas. I’m sure I’ve often worn a director down with trying new things every time and not being consistent, but maybe it’s because small changes in scenes manifest themselves outwardly to how I will say something or show something of simply, just am, onstage. But mainly the quote said to me “Don’t be afraid of going there onstage, you’re doing this for the audience, not for you”. Whatever I want to express but often balk at – is not about me, I’m just the vessel. I once attended a workshop where I wanted to explore the disgusting on stage and not be afraid of it. Most of my work deals with the aesthetics of taste, I can’t remember any significant role where I had to present myself as foul or anything like that. I just didn’t go there. Thank you Louise Bourgeois. We have permission now. It’s part of my job description.