Quite often when people discover I'm an artist, the first thing the quite rightly ask is 'what kind of work do you do?' A branding of the practice it seems is quite an important tool in the quest for understanding it would seem...
You'd think that this would be easy, but quite often I find it quite a tricky question. I find myself being generally descriptive 'Big bright abstracts' or 'Really textural abstracts, with spray paint, glitter and enamel' but feel these are quite an inadequate way to try to encapsulate my work, particularly if I'm trying to describe it to an audience with a bit of art knowledge.
I usually then simply show a picture as an example which resolves the problem.
However, it has bothered me that whilst being able to talk at length about other artists work, I find myself baffled by my own practice, one which I should know best of all!
Having spent years writing about my work, cogently and with joy, I have realised how easy it has been to get out of the habit of talking about my work, and how self consciousness can lead to a 'dumbing down' attitude.
I recently re-read my MA thesis which was basically a mapping excersise, based on contemporary painters in line with my own practice. It has inspired me to reengage with the academic side of my practice a little.
So over the next weeks and months, I will try to put together a way to describe my work, a short but sweet 'abstract' of you will.
How do you talk about your practice? Do you have any self conscious trouble?