” I don’t know much about art but I know what I like…”

This was the title for a lecture I gave when I was  artist-in-residence at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery in 2010. An essay with pictures, it is a discussion about “modern” art and the implications for regional, perhaps traditional, artists living in a world suddenly gone mad it appears, with “ART” that doesn’t look like ART.

It was a pivotal speech for me, because people had driven through what was a dark and stormy night, had paid good money to hear me speak, and had nodded through the talk agreeing with me. One woman said that it had changed her view on what she “should” have been doing as an artist. Another said it gave her a huge sense of relief hearing others struggle with the same issues. I came home and re-connected more serioulsy with my Toastmaster life: I wanted to give more people the freedom to make their own artistic choices.

Basically, the talk  is a series of conclusions resulting from my experiences completing a university degree in contemporary art all the while maintaining my essentially subject-based, traditional painting and printmaking practices. It tells the story of how I came to terms with the apparent polarity of these two types of art-making and offers some timely solutions to this confusing, artistic bifurcation.

I came across the writing about this talk when I was redoing my website. At the time I’d indicated I was available to present this talk to:

  • special interest groups such as artists, art aficiandos
  • anyone who is bemused by “modern” art
  • contemporary art practitioners who have found themselves dismissive of more traditional forms of art-making

In 2010 I needed to tell that story, as much as I needed for others to hear it. But perhaps even now, happy as I am making the artwork I do; perhaps even now I need to revisit that whole idea of an artist as an individualtelling their own story rather than an artist being simply a purveyor of merchandise or style, caught in the eddies of commerce or art-criticism instead of heading forward, fluently.

image above by Picasso, who, I might add, we love.

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