You know the kind of week. The where you think that you couldn’t get busier, you couldn’t get more stressed and then that one extra thing gets asked of you. You sit in your pool of unfinished projects, empty pizza boxes and discarded purple jelly beans and wonder where the extra 12 hours a day will come from to complete your 7000 page list of unfinished projects. Thoughts of a world where things were simple and stress free seem a distant memory away as you guzzle your 37th cup of coffee for the day in a vain attempt to fuel your barely your functional brain to fire that one one last operating neuron to produce at least a mild attempt at resolving the Mount Everest of unfinished projects.
So what the heck has this got to with anything other than having a good whinge about a situation we all find ourselves in? I am glad you asked, hang in there and you will yet again be regaled with a whimsical, mildly insightful solution that, as always involves a sultry brunette and some pithy commentary.
When faced with this monumental task I did what any fare minded person should do. I ignored it. Yep I simply walked away and spend a beautifully distracting weekend in the wilds of said brunette. The result. Did any of the massive workload get done? No. Do I care? Hell No, because the mountain aint so big no more (pardon the hill billy speak it was the time in the country that did it) when you have a smile on your face.
We have a view of artists as being lone wolves, singularly following their artistic vision with obsessive fanaticism. Sure, we grant then alcohol fueled evenings, hung out in grubby, smoke filled bars exchanging the latest ideology, idea or point of view, but generally we see them as solitary animals slightly left of the common homo sapien sapien.
The reality is somewhat different. Recently I have spent great lengths of time wading among what the general populase would call “arty types”. I discovered something amazing. They were normal people. They buy the same milk as me, they pay their phone bills the same way as I do and that receive inspiration for their endeavours the same way as this less artistically bent middle aged man. They also receive their inspiration the same way as “ordinary people” do. The execute their dreams by getting informed and inspired by doing in it the normal way, observation, education and peer pressure.
As a teen age boy I did any number of death defying things all in the name of impressing my friends. They would howl words of descent until I completed the task that they had assigned. Walking across railway bridges when the next rain was scheduled to arrive or following the “wouldn’t be cool if” train of thought to its hilariously death defying completion. It is so with artists. Instead of howls of peer to pressure to flash your naked backside at a passing train, you are urged to pursue the outer limits of your artistic endeavour in a cheap wine affected slur.
Like your mates as a teen, one particular member of your inspirational team drove you to achieve new highs of stupidity, similarly one member of your artistic pose will drive you to push the envelope or in the artistic dictionary under i – “inspire” you. If you add a healthy dose of sexual tension you move from being an inspiration to be being a muse. Somebody that connections to you in all the artistic bits so you produce fantastic amazing things beyond what you are capable of without them. Now I am not suggesting that your acne festooned, red headed mate, Dave, that goaded you into giving the driver of the 843 bus a pash one morning is the same level of inspiration as the sultry curvaceous brunette you wake up to every sunrise of the month you spend in Paris, but I do believe they come from the same place.
Muses make the world go round, seducing you with ideas, that i word again – inspiration and giving you beautiful focus for all that creativity that is dying to come out – just like Jim at the pub.
There is a trend in society to associate the much abused concept of creativity with the equally abused term called artistry. Both of these loosely defined concepts have been lumped in with the fine arts, the not so fine arts and the things that we are passionate about. It appears that we now think that creativity is mystical, undefinable something that enables us to take smoke and whim and produce a work of amazing beauty and meaning.
However it hasn’t always been this way. Do you remember when carpenters were called “artists” or metal workers could get creative in producing a metal trough? It was only yesterday. It seems that we have forgotten that creativity and artistry are blood brothers to concepts such as logic and technical nouse.
But… but.. what about the great painters, what about those immensely talented people that can just write…what about those people that can just be creative and artistic without even trying, those that appear to just ooze creative capability…you say. Well behind all the spontaneous creative, artistic, beret wearing, Gitanes smoking, absynth sipping genius’ is one thing – boring, dull, dry technical skill perfected over thousands of hours of practice. Yep Leonardo Da Vinci, artistic genius, did the hard yards. Do you think he just perfected the skills with paint, the brush, chemistry and the pencil by birthright? Do you think old Leo could “just be the art” because he was creative or artistic? No chance. It took years of learning how to draw and paint and be awesome, somebody elses way before he did his own thing. Monet, Chopin, and the bloke that plays the banjo down the pub – yep – they did it the dull way before getting to expose the world to the full extent of just how $1.50 they were in a 20 cent world.
So to all those bicycle worshiping, tie dyed, hessian wearing, spraycan sniffing, mung bean smoking creative types that are “only a blink away from artistic revolution” if only “the world would value the creative”, get to work and get dull for a while and learn the techniques that make all the creativity and artistry in the world possible.
The tango, the striking dance of passion, is usually associated with the hedonistic days of early twentieth century Argentina, but for a talented group of young musicians it is very 21st century Sydney.
Musicians, Emily-Rose, Susie, Owen, Johan and Amy share a common love for music, performance and the tango and bring their talent and passion to the world as Tángalo. Professional musicians, they have added the dimension of dance to their performances, playing and dancing the tango to eager crowds around the country.
The job for the night was to photograph the photographing of Tángalo (phew!) performing and dancing as part of an upcoming promotion of their talents. The first thing that strikes you about these enormously talented people is not just how fantastically they perform but what great people they are, freely sharing their ideas and bonhomie in easy going, jovial banter.
The photographers, Doc Jones and James Kenny decided the best venue to capture the mood and emotion of it all was after dark at a converted brick pit, now home to the ruins of the kilns and the green, rolling fields of Sydney Park. Technically challenging, Doc and James took to the task as eagerly as their subjects. The day started with a long studio session followed by the night at the brick pit. The extensive use of radio controlled flash and finely crafted photographic skills produced a result that captures that special something that comes from when passionate people bring together music and performance.
Doc Jones Gypsyjazz@hotmail.com
James Kenny Jameskennyfoto@gmail.com
As a photographer rarely do you get involved in a project that causes you to challenge your concept of performance art, fortunately Oceanic Sydney did just that. Oceanic Sydney is a collaborative piece that depicts scientific data and observation through dance, music, design and animation. A collaboration between Lisa Roberts and Caterina Mocciola, Oceanic Sydney is expression of the artists desire to generate and foster collaborations from disciplines across the arts and sciences.
The home for the performance was Customs House in Sydney, a 19th century sandstone public building dominated by a five story central atrium and an in-floor illuminated three dimensional map of the city. The in-floor city map was ingeniously used as the performance space with four large projection screens hanging in the atrium space.
The project is a collaborative work by Living Data, led by Lisa Roberts a visual artist and academic. Lisa uses her research with Antarctic scientists and the moving human form for the works contributed from her animation practice. The other driving force is Caterina Mocciola, an independent dancer and choreographer whose contemporary dance is woven through the elements of the work .
Oceanic Sydney is deeply layered with the works of collaborating artists, all coming together in a single rich harmonious piece that is captivatingly beautiful.
Artists that contribute to the project include Lawrence Wallen, designer,academic and Head of Design at UTS, a specialist in drawing and designing large scale structures for public spaces. Ashley Macqueen, a contemporary dancer, also a scientist who studies fresh water ecology. The music element of the performance was provided by VOA, Benn DeMole and Catriona Davies, known for their positiv-politic hip-hop/pop and atmospheric soundscapes.
New in 2013. Welcome to Dystopia, an exhibition and book by SCP. Modern life ticks to the cold hard reality of order and process. Welcome to Dystopia aims to display the themes, solitude and desolation of our ordered world in a series of black and white images from around our functional world.