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Saturday, 28 March 2009


I’m just beginning my Final Major Project… YESS! The last stretch of my Foundation year! I’m writing my Statement of Intent… I want to do a project about the city, and everything that goes on within it!
“This is far too broad” my tutors tell me when they read it. “Narrow it down, think about what it is that you’re trying to say.”

Okay, so I rewrite it… I want to do a project about the life of one person living in the city.
“Whose life? Your life?”
“Uhh… no… I guess it could be like a collection of EVERYONE’S life…”
My tutors were far from convinced.
The problem with my work, they say, is I try awfully hard to remain distant and objective, to show all sides of the story rather than to give my opinion on it. I want to be a voyeur, like Samuel Pepys or William Hogarth, seeing the city and taking in what goes on and then reporting it back to the world.
“Samuel Pepys had an opinion,” my tutor points out. “‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. And William Hogarth was VERY cynical about the city…”
I have to concede, he is right. What point is there of making a drawing of London? Of showing a man standing at a bus stop here, a woman drinking coffee here and a kid going to school here? Does it say anything? Not really. So who cares? No matter how nice a drawing it is, who really cares?
Artists make statements. They make points and they express opinions. Sometimes they’re controversial statements, sometimes they’re opinions that everyone can relate to, either way, they create interest in viewers, a desire to interact with and understand the piece. They communicate.
If I’m going to make art with an impact, I have to stop being such a wuss about putting my opinions forward…


Frank said...

Nice thoughts, definitely makes you look at your own work in a different way.

Artsadmin said...

or maybe you include others in your questioning of the city?

Lisa said...

I did suggest that as an idea, I asked if I could put pieces of paper up around the college asking people to write on it about what they thought of the city...
But my tutors said that I was just trying to find another way of avoiding my own opinions. :P