Access denied, access granted

Over the years I have made difficult decisions and chosen particular paths. It has been character building to say the least. Most of my work decisions have been counter productive but fruitful for my own sanity. Considering I went insane at certain points it has been better to have a manageable job. All the while I managed to keep producing art which was eclectic and in many different media. Besides a couple of detours I was always on the same path.

If I consider my first body of work after art school it has been the thread of so much of my output. What was this work and why did it keep threading through my work? Well the work was a group of three video stills in a set of sixteen. Each work was elongated in length as essentially it was three images. So what was special about these works?

Essentially they were narratives. There could be a still of people on the street with a still of a building or maybe a fence. Each image was of places that I had always seen and then chose to record on video in my travels as an archive. In one case a fence was where I had hid from police after a chase. The glaring problem with these works is they were simply markers of stories and nobody knew the particular stories around them.

What these works eventually lead to was my stories and writing. Over the years though as my video work developed the stills became statements themselves. Images would be superimposed like a jail over a government housing building or a statue of Jesus over a vandalised door. These lead to more stories so in essence there was a story and now there are paintings as well.

The reason I kept these works over such long periods of time is that they were like a personal diary of places and events as well as statements and questions. When I had shown some of the works in 2010 people said they were cinematic or like a movie. They couldn’t be sold though because they was nothing to relate to. They were so random. Now though I can collate and reconfigure not only the written stories but create titles that make a narrative in the paintings from the stills. This at least opens two particular directions that complement and drive the messages home.

I know why it has been difficult for me to understand the inherent problems of the works over such long periods as well. This comes down to disorganised thinking and a difficulty of parsing the stories and writing them. When I had found a successful treatment option my ability to write came back into focus and now it is stronger than it has ever been. When I started this blog it was simply a tool to help me reorganise and explore the thoughts that I couldn’t get of my mind with words. I had to use visual cues to store the memories. They were like a visual backup. The strange thing is all of the stories were still there but they simply couldn’t be accessed. That would have to be the most difficult part of going mad. That is the absence of access to ones own mind.

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