Friday, July 26, 2013

The Sackville School

In the age of horse and buggy there was no need of datelines. Times were fixed by local municipalities. Air travel brought the phenomenon of jet lag, but there was still a relativity to sense of place. Technology has provided virtual experience and brought a very subjective global relativism to our identification with the world.

How we shape experience involves identifications and trade-offs. As a self employed visual artist I consider the following: The artists indulgent if perhaps unpaid freedoms vs. the security and servitude of regular employment. The need for branding vs. the need for continual creative development. Within personal microeconomies the need for maintenance of the status quo vs. the development of new paradigms and potentials. The perceived necessity of tapping the power of social and professional networking vs. the need for maintaining private and individual strengths and freedoms.

There is a tradition in the creative life of leaving the activity of the city behind for periods of rest and replenishment, usually for a rural coastal environment such as Ceret, sometimes in the company of creative collegues, sometimes alone. In my imagination the creative work ethic slows but continues, relieved by evenings of discussion or celebration in local cafes, where wine and tobacco smoke mix with heady argument and discussion of the pitfalls and encumbrances of the creative melieu of paris or berlin or london, the dissection with decreased enmity of the directions of rivals or collegues; a general recharging and reshaping of plans for the next season. New relationships are formed and sometimes old ones broken; there is a sense of hiatus.

In a sense it is this divide between romantic illusion and pragmatic realism which defines my struggles. Richard Dawkins view of a world made better by stripping away the maintenance of metaphor through religion in favour of the civilising qualities of science is like the belief that the new i-socialism can replace or answer the need to wander alone in an unilluminated wilderness where signs become portents and imbued with wordless signifigance. So I choose the road less travelled.

Sackville is like that. I came here to spend a summer sabattical based on an appreciation for quiet and the landscape and found something quite living buried in this quiet corner. Maybe all places are like that, but each has its own quality which is the reason that my idea of travel is to go somewhere, stop, and live for awhile. A week or two somewhere doesn't even give goodbyes a valid quality I think. One other point to coming to Sackville is that I went to school here for my BFA, and at this junction in my life I am looking at some of the threads that have been keeping a life in the arts together.

And true to my romantic illusions in this rural coastal environment a relaxed work ethic has continued, nights have been spent in heady discussions with collegues and new acquaintances, mixed with wine (and not so much tobacco smoke) over the pitfalls and encumbrances of the creative melieu, of history, and the dissection of artistic and tactical directions. There has been a general recharging and reshaping of plans for the coming season through exploration of identifications and trade offs.

Which is the point of the relative qualities of time and space.

Sackville, July 26

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