Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Reaching the end of my time here :-(

Yep, the end of the month is fast approaching. I can't believe how fast its gone. In five days time I will be flying back to the UK with a head-full of really happy memories. Hopefully (provided I don;t sit here for too long gossiping with you!) I'll also have finished a piece which I will have the pride to see installed here at Sculpture Trails. When I fly, I'll be thinking about all the new friends I've made and how a sculpting extraviganza like this bridges so many gaps in our modern world. Does that sound a bit over-blown? Maybe the furnace fumes and the heat has finally got to me - but think about it: Art as practiced in the western world is about the most overt study in elitism that there is. Think artist, think creative person desperately trying to to work a medium and earn respect (if not money, alas) whilst itching the compulsion. That can lead to introversion and can make artists into slightly lonely people: non creative people often misunderstand the work - and their own peers often denigrate their work as its all part of the critical competition... What do you end up with? Ahem - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhUMRgZjKr8 (a pretty typical example, at least in terms of what I see in the UK...)

Well, an event like the work study programme at Sculpture Trails breaks those barriers. A process as complex as mold making and casting means that no-one can particpate without being absolutely ingrained at every stage - and those few who do sit back and let other do the donkey work miss out on the real value as to what this sort of endeavour is about. It becomes a leveller - you work and exchange ideas with people you might not have given the time of day. It forms bonds of trust and friendship. It makes you re-assess what the value of an individual is and appreciate that we're all different and approach things in different ways - but by being open minded to the other possibilities extends your knowledge. It really is a beautiful thing - no different perhaps to any other group of people who bond through an extreme challenge.

Anyway, I have a final mold to sprue and ram in sand, so I'd better get going.

Speak soon!


1 comment:

  1. Tobes,

    You are absolutely right on all counts. Such IS the beauty of art iron casting. It is difficult, hot, filthy, and exhausting work, but the personal reward is just as you described. To live amidst the continuum of process, ideas, possibilities, and personalities as you have truly reveals the depth of your character. Of all the things that you all have to take away from this month-long experience, I hope that your own iron-willed resolve to persevere and succeed IN YOUR OWN WAY is among your most valuable realizations, not only for your art, but for your life.

    I cannot thank you all enough for the outstanding love and support you gave back to me over this last weekend. It was amazing to see how much you have all grown since we met at the start of July. It's thrilling to read how appreciative and insightful you are of your torment! This is the bond of our family, the iron tribe. May the remainder of your days at the Trails this month be equally rich...

    CREW UP!!