Sunday, July 20, 2014
Pink for girls // Blue for boys
Chinese New Year Party // Adelaide 2014
Some time ago, a man named Erick - A friend of my father, Malaysian national, big-time business man who did something right to earn himself an equivalent to a Knighthood in his country and somehow ended up moving to Australia of late - decided to put on a bit of a party inviting many guests to an Asian eatery in lieu of the Chinese New Year. He thought it a good idea to have some high-class entertainment at the event and knowing of my skills and abilities invited me to draw the guests. In fear and trembling I eventually agreed, and amidst profuse apologies-in-advance to the eager sitters for my questionable outcomes, barely frame-worthy and perhaps at times too close-to-the-bone renditions of reality, I somehow managed to please the crowd, the host, and even myself, And so made use of my skill-set outside of the endless self-absorption I'd found myself by attempting to practice the fallacy of art for art's sake. Once again reminding me that art for people's sake does not have to mean removing all personal integrity and vision and replacing it with another's. Instead it was enlivening. Nothing like being holed up in a studio desperately disconnected from the concerns of the world of which one would like to communicate with (not to say there is not a time for that, but merely that there is much to be found in direct engagement with nature that cannot be found removed from it). This creative encounter activated that feeling of beauty, challenge, immediacy and purpose, communion with my fellow man, the strange pleasure of re-creation, of looking and seeing, (and in the case of the sitter) of being looked at and seen...something I'd all-but-forgotten in my failed pursuit of an art for art's sake, or had lost yet was pleased to have found even for a moment. And though the offerings were meager, the drawings small and undeveloped, it was being in some way immediately responsible for the joy of those present (young and old), via the gifting of my gifts beyond my at-the-time-miserly-bury-your-talents-in-the-sand-lest-they-be-lost attitude, which brought some renewed vigor to my spirit and purpose to my pencil (or stick of charcoal as the case may be); thus drawing the conclusion that perhaps there is indeed a way to please the people whilst pleasing oneself and that 'this is the way, [so I best] walk ye in it'.