*PYO Artist’s Statement
Tl:dr I think artists’ statements are a bit of a waste of time. (Certainly, this artist’s statement is a waste of your time.)
I have statements. They are reasonably engaging. I don’t think they help anyone understand my art better.
As an outsider, I have come to understand that the convention is that you should either work with many ideas and one process, or many processes but one set of ideas. If you work with many ideas and many processes, you can’t really corral that into a statement – not in a way that is honest or actually makes sense. Sometimes my art is political. Sometimes it’s about physics. Sometimes it is huge engineered installation. Sometimes it is tiny delicate craft. This adds up to ‘not a viable art brand’.
Previously, I have waffled on about post-modernism and fractured reality. It comes from quite a personal place – if you apprehend the world differently to others it becomes apparent that that which is taken as objective, can often be subjective.
Now such ideas are common currency in the cultural conversation. I went from nobody understanding what I was talking about because it was too esoteric, straight to just another pretentious post-modernist.
In that time, I find I have changed sides in these culture wars. My horror at what the mainstreaming of these ideas has led us to condone means I now fight for the imperative that our narratives must at least try to track reality. The responsibility to track reality now strikes me as being at the very heart of what it is to be ethical.
The irony is that my perception differs more than ever from the rest of the art world, which has slipped far down an identitarian rabbit hole through which I don’t care to follow. But I am a middle-aged, self-taught, disabled outsider – I wasn’t about to get a show at Chisenhale anytime soon.
I’m not sure any of that will help you to understand my work. But it might give you a sense of who I am. If there is one thing I could say that applies to all of my work, is that it has an unwavering commitment to honesty, authenticity, and to genuine truth-seeking. It does not seek to flatten complexity, nor finger-wag. It is whistle-blowing rather than tribal. My work, like my face, and my ideas, doesn’t seem to quite fit in the art world.
Alternative Statement: The Wankier Version
Post-Alternative Statement: Come n Hear the Truth, Muthafucka
*PYO: acronym for ‘Pick Your Own’, used especially on UK fruit farms.