I stood grinning on a hill in the spring wind without the protection of my long winter coat and smelled the turning of the planet towards the sun.
This Titanic winter season has run amok of the inevitable. As did the Titans when banished to the underworld and the unsinkable ship when torn by an iceberg, even the strongest behemoth must surrender, eventually, to change. I can feel the chill through my window, yes. But it can no longer reach my bones, which glow golden.
In requiem to the five white months that are now passing I need to acknowledge my grief too, because I will miss it. This winter has tumbled and shaped me like a river-rock, exposed me like a quartz that had been encased in calloused grey stone – in the safe invisible of frozen white. It was as though all internal weather was played outside these windows – serenity, calm, beauty so sharp it hurt, but also rage, fury, sorrow, wilfulness. I’m different. A lot different.
I’ve just agreed to make twenty pieces of art, write, record and rehearse twenty minutes of music and – what the hell – twenty+ pages of a hand-made, limited edition book that will explore the idea of exposure and vulnerability, or “The Public Intimate”. It’s a true child of the winter that’s passing, this show. I’ve become deeply intrigued by what we do as humans and artists when we look at ourselves and make portraits, then publish them. Selfies – Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Munsch, Cohen, Joni, Camus, Anne Michaels… If all art is in some way autobiographical, then in fact, making and publishing ‘selfies’ are the job of artists. We hear a song, read a book, see a great self-portrait, and we are moved to tears. They are soul food. But self-publishing is also the work of every human, right? Even the duck-faced self-portraits published on facebook that are so vulnerable, awkward and exposed are expression of our human need … to be visible? Still working this out, as you can see.
My answers, for whatever they’re worth, will be published in a gallery in 13 weeks. You can bet you’ll be hearing more about it.