QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

 Small Branch Study, after Albrecht Durer, 2005

Small Branch Study, after Albrecht Durer, 2005

For the last 20 years I have attempted to make a living out of figurative sculpture. A number of years ago I stumble on a problem of not being able to finish things. I would start a job happy enough but as I proceeded the pace would slowly decline, eventually stopping with a lurch and in a jam.

I couldn't find the answers required to bring my work to a point of resolution- enabling my work to perform its creative function as an answer to the general anxieties of our human condition. Unfinished, my work was a mere collection of problems- my studio resembling a junk yard. However, what problems did provide were questions, beautiful, definitive questions.

What was required, therefore, was to identify with all the problems associated with my work, to ascertain the pressing questions which would lead me forward. A clear and simple method to do this was drawing.

Drawing is a simple method that bubbles our world view down to questions and answers. The answers are the values that inspire us to create, the green light that says proceed. The questions are how these values should be combined to communicate our idea. In a design sense the answers are the visual elements: line, shape, colour, tone...etc; the questions are the principles of composition: balance, contrast, harmony, unity...etc.

However, what makes drawing interesting is the cyclical manner in which these questions and answers roll: the answers of our inspiration leading directly to our questions of design,the questions of design leading us back to our point of inspiration, but this time searching with a touch of desire...and round and round it goes.

In such a way, what drawing provides is a process of questions and answers paddling against each other to propel ideas forward. This means creativity is no longer a matter of deciding on a question or answer for completion, but rather a linking of a question to an answer to form an interaction.

Creativity is therefore no longer an end product, isolated to a particular time and place but a connection of one idea to another on a series of levels, like the verses of a song.

However, more than just an interaction, what this coming together of verses provides drawing is the ability to con-verse. By establishing an expanding network of questions and answers a conversation of design could be established. This conversation not only provides drawing with a sense of narrative and connectivity to other stories but it also suggests the overarching sense of personality, a welcoming expansive sense of personality of shared ideas rather than the elite, exclusive and isolated being. Importantly also, it imbues drawing with a personality of process, not just the vapid celebrity of outcome.

At the end of the day what all of this did was legitimise my troubles. It didn't necessarily solve them but it did make it a bit more of a noble effort to bear them and introduce an ongoing melody of verse to drive me forward. 

 To find out more check out the audio file below...