Making film. Writing. Justifying being creative. Or not justifying, just being.

(December 2019)

I used to make lots of video art pieces. I did a degree in Fine Art but was put off painting there. I think for a while I was in love with the idea of being an artist, in a studio, wearing clothes covered in paint, and generally being “alternative” and “radical”, without really thinking through what those words and that persona meant. I found, and still find, the temporality of film and time based mediums more able to articulate the fluidity and instability of life experience and the man made / natural conundrum, two themes which have informed my practise from the beginning.

That feels like a long time ago now. After graduating, I devoted progressively less time and energy to making art, and I found that this changed my self perception. I placed less emphasis on self identifying as an artist. I thought about using writing as an output – I still am thinking, and am writing, but I don’t know if calling myself a writer is limiting. I haven’t yet written anything which would stand up to professional peer critique. Recently in my money-earning-job I’ve been working with a new bunch of colleagues at a different theatre, which has felt exposing and cathartic. Many people in the box office world do other creative work, so it was inevitable to be asked “what else” I do, as it is assumed that everyone has another few strings to their bows. Some are even violinists, I’d imagine. I am by nature a misanthropic loner, so often want to shy away from that area of questioning, but talked about being an artist and writer. As conversation evolved, I improvised a description of experimental film work as paintings seen in a gallery, which move. This, I suppose, addresses the audience experience, and refers back to issues I delved into when writing my dissertation, and thoughts were re-awoken in my mind. I’ve since re-visited some works I’ve made since graduating and putting my artist career on hold. I still find it hard to articulate why I do what I do, and who I do it for, but now I’ve started I can’t just stop.

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