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  • libbydarlow

Art in my personal context

I really want to understand my relationship with art, it played a powerful role at a pivotal moment in my life. When the relationship crumbled, I had nothing left to prop me up, and I promptly fell over.


Art really became important for me during A-levels, I was a nervous wreck. It was something I could practice and see results in, the work physically appeared. I could learn and start to express myself. My school had a strong art department, an isolated loft to ascend into, and it became a haven for me.


In short (to deprive you from lots of self indulgent psychoanalysis) art became a therapy. Art let me face up and explore ideas of identity, confront and understand issues. It gave me a source of confidence and pride. A false confidence and pride which disintegrated as soon as I walked into my foundation course. I had my head stuck in the ground concerning the whole world of contemporary, current art and my own grand idealisms. I had been in a bubble of doing what I wanted and was not ready for an environment completely foreign from the imagined safety and freedom. I was out of my depth: out of depth with my mental health, confidence, identity and knowledge. And so began the 'what is art?' spirals, the far off dream that Andrew Graham Dixon or Katy Hessel or anyone would sit down and explain it all to me.


Art had been an emotional release, for me, a natural process that saved and gave purpose to my life. But now Art was apparently supposed to be cool, intellectual, detached, unrecognisable to anyone uncultured enough to want realism or a pleasant picture. Figuration though present, seemed to me to be, sneered at. I fumbled through this year and being scared to do anything different, followed into a Fine Art course at Chelsea Art School. I dropped out after 1 term.


NOTE: I feel like I need to explain my definition of art here specially in relation to my business. in my business I draw, in my drawings I'm trying to translate what I see and what I feel into an image. This process is much gentler and less aggressive than the idea of what 'art' has to be. From my time at art school art became something that has to be defendable to your peers and tutor, it's your brain on a page, it's your identity on a wall as you are judged. The drawings are already purposeful in that they are trying to depict something, there's a abstract map to follow and I can breathe and create the rest. It's marks, tranquillity and observation.



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