Why Make Art?
Life is absurd. We are wibbly double-fist sized grey matter conductors encased within and driving around a skeleton which is itself held together by sinew and muscle, insulated by fat and flesh and hair and standing on the surface of a four-and-a-half billion year old wet rock, which we are only stuck to because it is so heavy it bends the fabric of space and draws everyone towards itself. The most basic of building blocks which create this wet rock we call home, as well as the flesh and blood and bone of our bodies, were created through a succession of stars collapsing over the past thirteen billion years, spewing out the elementary materials for everything we see, touch, taste and are.
As running into the streets screaming about the implausibility of it all is not an entirely productive option, we must first accept and then understand our position in the universe. The pursuit of science can give us a factual understanding, offering results in figures and formulas that are constant and true. But we, as a species, are not computational devices built to work in the expressions of numbers and facts. We experience feelings, both miniscule and profound, and possess an ability to think in the abstract, meaning we can ponder on things that have never and never will happen.
It is through art that I believe we can represent the emotions of our place in the universe. Each artefact operates as a bookmark that we can turn to in order to understand the creator's feelings on their position in the universe at the time of the artefact's creation. Concepts such as death, rebirth, love, lust, hate, fear, all the primal emotions that every one of us are capable of feeling, which cannot be exhibited and consumed through numbers, can be expressed through the artefacts of our art.
I create art in order to expand my understanding of the world in a way that makes sense to me. I am, as many would say of themselves, not solely a “numbers person”. Facts and figures do not evoke a wholesome understanding within the universe we inhabit. I need an aesthetical approach to explore my world.
“You can intellectually engage with something quite quickly but to emotionally and spiritually engage with something takes quite a long time, you have to live with it.”
- Grayson Perry, 2013