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Art Pollution

January 27, 2017
Good Wishes - Oil - 11x14

Good Wishes – Oil – 11×14……Pink tulips are given when wanting to bring good wishes to any situation!

Having spent the last several years stewing about the toxic nature of how I spend the majority of my time, I was left even more out of sorts after reading a quote by performance artist Marina Abranmovic.  And the bummer of it all is that she has a point …..or maybe two, or three, or four…

“I hate studio.  For me, studio is a trap to overproduce and repeat yourself.  It is a habit that leads to art pollution”….M. Abranmovic.

So, not only am I releasing toxic waste into the water system when I clean my brushes (from any of the media), toxic fumes into the air, toxic garbage in the form of rags, paintings that did not meet my expectations, wood and canvas supporting said paintings, tape, graphite, spent printer cartridges, stickum notes, spent markers, crayons and pencils, charcoal, paper and damaged frames….I am overproducing images that are taking up space on our beloved planet.  This can be quite the downer.

There is no need for argument, of course, for the relevance and indeed the necessity of art making in any discipline.  Without it where would we be?  Her point to the toxic nature of overproduction however, should not be ignored.  More is not better.  Over the centuries the making of art has gone from being created by a select few to anyone who can afford the materials to practise their craft.  For sure, some crafters are better at it than others but should anyone be denied that blissful experience of creating a work of art on whatever level they may find themselves?

Maybe all of us, on whatever level we may find our accomplishment, should slow down and practise our craft from a sacred space of balance.  No painting for instance should be started without asking oneself, “am I saying something meaningful” with this effort.  “What is it that draws me to paint this ‘experience’ and how can I best show this emotion”.  If we have to take ownership of our efforts then maybe our studio spaces will find themselves less of a production facility and more of a place of inspiration.  Just what they are meant to be 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Melodie Herbert permalink
    March 28, 2017 6:21 pm

    I respect very much your concern for “repetitive overproduction” and the toxicity of art materials. However, you have not mentioned the importance of the therapeutic value of making art, to the artist themselves. When in “the zone”, one is close to feeling “flow”, that transcendant mindspace, where the passage of time seems slowed, and the mundane worries of adult life are irrelevant.
    This experience is sublime, and we should cherish our access to it. I recommend you consider the wisdom in Desiderata: “Go placidly amidst the noise and haste (or is it waste?), and know that you have a right to be here. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should…”
    There may be error in my quotation, as I am relying on memory.
    Best wishes Carolynn, your art work is beautiful.

    • March 28, 2017 9:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment Melodie. I do agree with all that you are saying as I am sure you already know 🙂 When I wrote this blog I was just feeling a little bad about being a polluter of toxic waste. I have since learned that my city has a very good disposal depot for such waste and I feel much better now. The over production of work that can become mundane when studio bound is another story, ha. Thanks for reading!

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