(BEING) AN ARTIST IN THE WORLD
As my fortieth birthday approached I started to become aware of the relentless march of time and the oppressive burden of age. I had spent my entire adult life in a drunken stupor, pursuing hedonistic pleasures and trying to maintain a carefree attitude and joie de vivre. However, it had started to become abundantly clear that the latent ambitions I had been suppressing were starting to surface. I also started to consider that maybe this type of lifestyle would be ultimately unsustainable in the long term. My research at the time involved a curious mix of performance and the avant garde techniques prescribed by the Situationist International. Drawing upon their idea of Psycho-Geography I would explore the urban environment (in my case public houses), get drunk, meet people, get into situations and have adventures. Exploring not just the physical landscape and the world of objects but also the mindscape of my psyche. When I returned home I would record my thoughts, feelings and reveries through the medium of collage. I began to amass a large collection of imagery, inventing a personal symbolism and I began to notice patterns and reoccurring themes. I then started to construct a narrative framework in which to nest all these disparate images and ideas. Through a retrospective analysis of my work I started to understand that my work was housed on a archetypical structure and rooted upon mythological foundations. As I started to engage with my imagery, my practise had become like a feedback loop. The ideas and the thoughts contained within my work were becoming compounded. The more I engaged with this realm of fantasia, the more the distinction between reality and (un)reality became blurred. I was lost within a labyrinth of my own mind and although I had traversed this terrain before; this time I had gone deeper and further and I started to wonder if I could ever return. I was lost, deep in the depths of the wild wood and drowning in a sea of psychosis. I had explored even the darkest realms of my own imagination but failed to consider that I might also need a compass!
I had confronted and slayed the dragon but the maiden and gold were not enough, still the voices drew me deeper into the dark. There was something that my being needed to find in the blackness...
TAKEN FROM "NOTES FROM THE UNTERWELD'' 2012
I had found what I was looking for, passed through the Ninth Gate, drunk from the Holy Grail, sounded the Black Horn but to complete my quest I would have to find a way to integrate my shadow. I had found meaning in the world and purpose to being, now all there was left to do, was act.