When I was in my twenties I traveled a lot more than I do now. Without financial and family ties, I was able to roam and explore both myself and the place, at will. One time, I spent a month in Venice, Italy by myself. I pushed and pulled upon the limits of my fears, desires and overall personality at my own pace, in that beautiful place. Sometimes I would scope out a situation a few times before approaching. At other times I’d jump right in. I went to a concert one evening in a church after seeing the flyer for it stuck to an ancient wall at the fish market that morning. There were 3 instruments; a cello, a piano and a violin. The sound in that space was incredible, coming from all directions deep, low, soft, sweet, round and light. I was in tears pretty much the entire concert because of how beautiful the place was, the sounds were and by the fact that I was there, by myself, experiencing it all. That moment was art.
Then there was the time I went to visit my sister in Switzerland (my Swisster). She picked me up at the airport in Zurich and we traveled by train to Basel. Knowing that I would soon either have to immediately sleep or to stay awake the whole day to make up the time difference, she had planned for us to attend a concert in a church. This was one of the most painful experiences of trying to stay awake. I liken the scenario to myself, the young art student sitting on a comfy couch in the back of the dark lecture hall, trying not to succumb to the lulling voice of the old British professor meandering through art history. Zzzzzzzz….. Zzzzzzzz….. And then hearing my sister giggling because I was falling over in my seat. That moment was not art.
Memories are so very important and without those experiences, I would be a different person. In a way, I believe the art process is the same. I have to go through the process of making art in order to find that one piece which is the actual art. Not every piece, experience or memory is art but eventually, some of them will be.
Over the winter holidays, Andrew and I pulled together a place in the center of the studio and made monotypes for several days. I had more time off than he so I had the chance to do more and we both ended up with a few really nice pieces. And yet those were just a fraction of all the pieces we created. Not every piece is going to be a “keeper” and not every experience will be memorable. And yet without going through that process, that experience, we wouldn’t end up with our selves or our art.