So, having children can lead your brain to emulsify for a while. Not because of my female status, but because of sleep deprivation, multi tasking and multi conversations, cat herding talents and the usual domestic schlep. I am finally removing the glue from my synapses by studying for this MA. It’s a great feeling. I recommend it.

This afternoon we discussed a critical essay. The exact text is not really the point. The important aspect is that I can hold my own these days. I can contribute, question and have a (partially) informed opinion. It’s marvellous. Invigorating.

Today’s discussion included a debate around whether it is possible to convey emotion via a painting. A seemingly simple question but when considered in conjunction with an assertion that all artistic endeavour is only done after a conscious or unconscious internal filtering and rationalisation – a translation – it becomes more interesting. Do you ever get a pure message across?  What is lost in translation? Is there such a thing as a truly expressive artistic gesture? If you agree with the initial assertion, then no, there isn’t. Does it matter so long as one manages to ‘touch’ the viewer? Discuss.

And the more fundamental realisation? To be taken seriously, to get thoughtful critique, discourse and constructive comment you need to approach your practice with equal seriousness. If you downplay your thoughts, your process, others will not stop to see your depth. Why would they when you do not yourself?

I found myself making light of some of the pieces I have been working on recently when in fact, I have found resonance in them. I am starting to realise that if I want to continue with this artistic role then I have to commit. Method acting is obligatory. As with any life choice, I have to stand up and be counted. I have to stop playing the ‘dumb’ card.

This is not a comfortable realisation. I have to admit to playing the fool so as to protect myself from others’ ridicule, disappointments and disagreement. It’s a fairly familiar tactic used by many. But it won’t serve me well now. It’s time to grow up. I hope I can do it with grace.

And no, no punchline today. Today I’m all purpose and focus. Today it’s just me.


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