From those early days of making these wall based assemblages, the whole process orientation took shape which was to guide me through many twists and turns in my creativity, which had me exploring many mediums in the found object genre including sculpture, installation, public art, digital printing and a return to painting.
There were of course, myriad plastics that were chipped and broken. Sometimes these found objects were unrecognizable as the consumer items they once were. There were also buoys and thongs (flip-flops) in dozens of colors.
At the same time, these occurrences can open doors for a new process of working. When you’re having an exhibition of new work and it doesn’t sell – that can be difficult. Again, I would have to talk about relativity. It’s tough if you don’t sell work at an exhibition, especially if you put a lot of time and money into the show. But that pales in significance when compared to being dealt a bad hand when you least expect it.
If you feel like your artist statement or your web copy is not ever done – it isn’t. Writing is a process and very rarely a product. Text can always be reworked and improved. Set goals, but be reasonable. Be fair to yourself and ask for help along the way.
The essay I wrote for the United Nations, The Future We Want is reproduced here with kind permission of the United Nations Organization, having first appeared on the UN website and the UN’s official social media outlets.
It’s great to not feel any restriction with what I create. I’m enjoying going with the flow with my creativity. I had quite a large amount of it in storage, and it’s been great to get it out and work it into some interesting sculptures – sculptures that I’ve not ever seen before.
People would tell me to look at this person’s work or that person’s work. At the time, I decided it was best for me just to continue making my body of work and going into various avenues that it took me and solidified what it was that I was doing with these new materials, instead of looking to other artists for inspiration. This enabled me to create work that was fresh and to make my own mistakes to learn from. My work was not derivative of anyone else’s work. This has always been important for me.
There existed in me a specifically defined sensibility about the environment, to want to pick up all this flotsam and jetsam. I’m glad to know that this response happened quite naturally within me.
This can help with future directions and can also act as a signpost for yourself about important and pivotal times in your career, times which you may want to elaborate about clearly in lectures or in your own writings about your work.
As a result of standing up for myself I set a precedent for other local artists but at some cost to my relationships. I am pleased to report that these relationships healed with time.