Ayn posted on her blog a quote by Chris Guillebeau that said “If you’re not embarrassed by work you did years ago, you probably haven’t evolved or developed much.” I have to take exception to this. While i may be somewhat embarrassed by some really early pieces only because even then they were bad (but i was trying and learning at least) and i couldn’t accept it of myself that i could do bad art, most of my past work is a lesson in learning, progression and confidence, as it should be for (most) artists who stick with it.
How about this one from 2002?
yuk–this one IS embarrassing!
I bring this up, not only because i occasionally look through my old photos at Flickr, but because this year’s residency exhibition theme is to do with what was happening 5 years ago when the group first started doing said residencies. I wasn’t in the group then, having joined in 2009, so needed to see what was happening then in my “stoodio”. The idea is to work from something at that period, to either develop an idea from that time, derive new work from it or add to a series, or just riff off it.
We are usually our own worst critics. “I should have done this, done that, not done it, oh my gadz what was i thinking”: the whole shitshubola of insecurity rolls through our minds as we cringe inwards. BUT, i think sometimes too when you look back you can see freer expression and less inhibition about trying new media or subjects. I’ve started looking at previous work (done before the last 3 years) with older (semi) wiser eyes and see common threads that i have/had lost through preciousness and the search for acceptance. In that respect i mean being part of a current trend or on the bandwagon rather than acceptance of what i do because i do it, rather than “this is what is popular”. (This year has been one of going back to myself rather than worrying about what everyone else is doing, or what the current hoopla is about online, so i say “had lost”.) The origins of our own art can be a minefield or a mine of new motherlodes. Since the “word of the year” for me is “Origin”, i’m re-exploring some of that.
I found 2 pieces i’d like to re-invent. One is a mixed media, the other an experiment with layering, paint and texture that also told the story of an abused co-worker. (Lousy pics by the way, not as competent with the camera then :) )–shall have to reshoot!
“Nobody’s Business” 13×15 (ish)
(The black bones of fear under skin that never heals.)
New work that evolves from these will neither be the same size, colourway or technique, a blessing for exploration :) That’s kind of the point though.
Though i am letting the rust and brazilwood cotton pieces from day 2 rest and cure, i washed the 2 silk pieces i had done in a similar manner. I figured if it washed out, wth, i still have to use the fabric so it might as well be “clean”. Well, the darn stuff stuck on a protein fabric (though the pieces are still crap to my eye), proving that cellulose is a trickier substrate for some materials.
The FAN (Fibre Arts Network) site has up the “Far Away” exhibit that is at the national CQA show in Halifax this week (or was, maybe done now…).
Now i must pack up the required day’s supplies and a thermos, walk DogFaced Girl (who snuck out last evening to see her boyfriend down the block !!) and be off for res day 4!