Thursday, 21 May 2009

My Artist Statement

This is the First one I handed in that was sent back to me to change, since I didn't actually mention my work or practice in it, but I'm really pleased with it so I thought I'd plonk it on here to act as my 'on-line' version:

Badge: Artist Statement.

There comes a point in every child's life when they learn about death, usually it comes via the death of a family pet. I believe it to be an important milestone in life.
When I was 6 I went on a boat trip up the Conwy River, shortly after boarding I became convinced the boat would sink and we would all drown.
The boat didn't sink, and we all made it back to shore safely, however for the first time I was aware of my own mortality.

Not long after the boat trip, my Dad suffered a stroke and was hospitalised. Fortunately he recovered, but it made me realise that circumstances and lives can change without warning.

Both events had a profound effect on me; I began to question life, the meaning of it, and the afterlife. It was around this time the nightmares started. Visions of death, destruction and hellish scenes plagued my sleep, I developed fears for my family’s safety, convinced the nightmares would come true, and that I'd lose them all, leaving me behind, alone, the sole survivor of an apocalypse.

I spent hours poring over encyclopaedias trying to find answers to my questions and nightmares. The more I read the less comfort I found, It quickly dawned on me that I have no control of my life and the events that ultimately effect it, wars can be waged, bombs can be dropped, a single button could end the world. Of course the books and research fed the nightmares, and spurred my imagination. I sought comfort in objects and places around me, in the belief that if my nightmares came true those objects would remain.

Although it all sounds bleak and depressing and that I suffered some torturous childhood, I didn't. I had an idyllic childhood and was unbelievably happy; I just had a strange fascination with the macabre. The only hardship came with the nightmares, I dreaded going to sleep, the scariest things about the dreams was the fact it was the only place my parents couldn't protect me.

All of the above forced me to grow up and accept certain truths at a very early age, I still had a childhood and did all the regular things kids do, I was just more aware that life isn't one big Disney film.

The nightmares are thankfully long gone; occasionally I'll get a friendly reminder of the visions that kept me awake as a child. However the fears still remain, festering in the back of my mind, I don't think I'll ever be able to exorcize them, they don't affect me on a daily basis, only sometimes will the band-aid be ripped off and old fears exposed. When that happens I still seek comfort in the same objects and places I did as a child.

In hindsight I see the events and nightmares as a personal apocalypse, both in the traditional sense of "The End" [i.e. the end of a childhood innocence] and also in the literal sense of a revelation - the revelation that the end can visit in many guises, be it a loved one or pet dying, or the end of a blissful ignorance.
It’s an apocalypse which saw me make the transition from childhood into the ‘real world’.

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