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what's floating the boat

i don't usually like going on about inspiration too much. mainly because, well, i don't wanna sound like a tripper hippy. but this past couple of weeks has been full of the stuff and i figure that every now and again, it's OK to indulge.

i firmly believe einstein's maxim than creativity is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. and even inspiration you have to cultivate. you can't just sit back and expect it to knock on your door. you have to do, see, watch, engage with inspiring things.

and over the last couple of weeks, i've been mainlining inspiring stuff. and interestingly enough (or not) most of the stuff i've been jumping up and down about has not, actually, been anything i've seen in my gallery per day visits. not that the work i've seen hasn't been fantastic (i'll rave about it in the next couple of days), but it's often that which is outside of the box that gets my gears going. i just wanted to share it with you, because, well, i'm indulging.

being frank
a couple of weeks ago, i went and saw sketches of frank gehry. it was part of a week where i had seen loads of stuff about architecture (global cities and zaha hadid for a start) and it just burst my brain cells. it focused on the creative process and progress of one of the world's most well-known architects with his friend and film maker sydney pollack. gehry's process is deeply ingrained in the art side of creation (as opposed to, say, civic planning). you saw how frank worked, his modelling process, his pen sketches, where he got his inspiration - in fact the scene where he shows you the relationship between a 'mother and child' masterpiece by some italian master and the birds eye view model of an architectural project just made my heart skip a beat and my jaw drop. and the impression that one of his friends, i think it was artist chuck arnoldi, does of frank's design and modelling process is just priceless.

i came away from the movie just going 'why don't i do architecture?' (a reference to a line in the movie). i know what's represented is not architecture at all, but i loved the ethos of it - the importance of looking outside your oevre, the importance of knowing your craft and the idea of continuing to pursue it, relentlessly even, to overcome obstacles - both from within and from others, was, well, delicious.

thanks to some theatre tickets as a farewell from my old work, i got the chance to see maxim gorky's philistines (adapted by andrew upton, who is married to 'our kate') at the national theatre lyttleton. i hadn't been to the theatre in ages and totally loved it. in fact i always love theatre, but never go because, well, to be honest, i'd rather pay Ā£30 to see a kick-arse band, but i'm trying to change that. especially after seeing this play because i came away with the thrill of having thought about and laughed at and being shocked by a thousand different things. i had been transported out of my life in to the lives of the in the time of the russian revolution. i love russian literature and could listen to petronymics and existentialist ravings all night long, but i'm glad it was such a fantastic adaptation. clocking in at 2 hours and 50 minutes, it was exactly long enough. in fact, just as i was thinking 'how much longer?', the final scene finished and the houselights came on.
the story is of a household and family of piotr and their loves, lives, inspiration and depression, the tyrannical nature of his father and the spritely nature of his lover. it's about living a full and prosperous life and the yawning chasm of a generation gap, as well as the divide of the conservatives and the progressives in russia at that particular time. the play was so dry and witty and soulfully dark at the same time, just brilliant. although, as my fellow twits will know, there was a new yorker behind me who, at the interval, loudly exclaimed 'that's just like woody allen'... fuck! talk about philistines...

coming home to our lady
my first major work, my graduating piece, was a series of 3 digitally manipulated photographs of 3 french gothic cathedral naves, made from milk crates (see above - chartres). the works sold out of an edition of 6 and were purchased by a few well-known peeps in sydney. creating the works, i worked from images of the interiors of the churchs and in building them, i got to know and study the cathedrals intimately. i had not been, but in my trip to paris during the week, i made sure that i went to at least one of them: notre-dame. walking into the church was like a home coming for me - i already knew what it was going to look like, i knew how i would feel and it was all of it and more. the majesty of the place is overwhelming and the stunning stained-glass windows were amazing. it's such a pilgrimage for so many people and i even found myself doing the sign of the cross out of habit - in fact i almost genuflected before i remembered that i wasn't in the catholic school system anymore and could just walk on by. i think when you go to notre-dame you probably feel uplifted anyway, whatever your creed or otherwise, but for me, it was a special little nod and a wink to the beginning of my art career and a nice nudge to keep going.



At 16 July, 2007 14:41, Blogger Stanley Johnson said...

The Gehry film is soo good. Great to have you back 'n posting. Stan x

At 13 November, 2009 13:25, Anonymous Paris Hotels said...

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