My last blog was on November 7th. Time passes and you may be wondering why the previous rhythm of postings has been disrupted. In that post I commented that the “development of ideas never quite seems to go in straight lines”. Then I was grappling with ideas and techniques. You may remember an earlier blog in which I described overcoming type 2 diabetes. Well in November I discovered that life also never seems to go in straight lines, and my ‘grappling’ was to be with one of mankind’s dominant killers, cancer. In November I was diagnosed with a cancer, and embarked shortly after on a course of treatment.
Shocked? Of course I was. Shaken – by the treatment initially and then by the threat the disease represents. Stirred, not initially but once over the shock stirred to a reaffirmation of the importance of creativity in the fight. I am lucky – the treatment has been (relatively) benign, and after 8 weeks I am left with an optimistic prognosis. I will know in May after a small exploratory operation whether the treatment has be totally successful – which it is in over 80% of the cases of my particular brand of cancer.
For some weeks the side effects of the treatment made it impossible to go in the studio, but opportunity knocked, and gave me a short term goal to spur me on to working again. Now I am busy not just producing work, but also organising the venue (our local arts centre) for a one man show in April, my first major show since my one-man show in Morley Gallery in London in 1995, and work in the Barbican Open in 1996. It is good to show to get an over view of the work completed over time. It is a year now since my love bought me a studio as a Christmas present, and a year of work has produced an interesting collection of works on paper and canvas.
Having work framed up to present formally to an audience can be intimidating (as well as expensive) but is an essential part of the creative process. After all unseen work is like the proverbial falling tree in the forest – if no one sees it does it happen? The purpose of art as a visual language is to communicate, and communication is not just shouting into the wind, it is about being heard.
The other advantage of exhibiting is that one gets the opportunity to select and present representative work that makes for a self-critical appraisal process, and can make for effective self-analysis and spur development onward. As the work comes back from the framer I get more excited, and hope that you will share this too, and come to the show. If you can’t make it don’t worry, I am creating a website where the work will be available to seen and if liked, purchased.
I bless the NHS, our much maligned National Health Service. As a child it brought me back from deaths door. In the 1950’s I was an early recipient of antibiotics, which (despite the family being called to the bedside to say goodbye) brought me back from the brink. Now I have had gentle sympathetic and empathetic world leading treatment from consultants and especially nursing staff at my local hospital. My art is about life. It is an affirmation and a reflection of joy in life.
I hope, in showing the work, it will share some of my renewed joy in life with you and bring you joy and pleasure.