Susan Stefanic:

It is the duty of the artist to resist

It is the duty of the artist to reject all truths

To put an end to all answers

To demolish the status quo

To expose the king’s nakedness

To ignore the facts

To fall in love as often as possible

To be in love with as many as possible simultaneously

To see through walls

To walk through fire

To fly over the crevasse

To bring inspiration to the isolated doubting angel

To dive into intuition

To abandon all solutions

To create  the ultimate vision

– I don’t identify with every line of this, but some ring so true! A therapist once asked me what archetype I identified with and I immediately said the child who sees the emperor has no clothes 😉

I believe very strongly in rigorous intuitive process for an authentic practice, to trust the flow and find the true line/colour/shape that tells you it is as it should be and to find what comes next…very close to abstract expressionism (think Jackson Pollock or even better Mark Tobey – Sagittarius Red is one of my favourite paintings of all time) and I also believe that creating spaces for people to relax and be creative is a radical act – bread AND roses – because it undoes the work of  global consumerist industries.  These rely on people being sheep following the bellwether – buy an i-whatever/buy laminate flooring and blinds even when that will triple your heating bills/buy an HD tv/ buy a bigger car/buy whenever and whatever the ads tell you will fill the gap in your life…and the most direct way to disable that is to facilitate people experiencing connection to their authentic self, to their space in the world, to see that they are rarely as powerless as the powers that be would like, that every small act of beauty without unfair consumption makes a lasting happiness that builds reserves of empowerment and compassion. Then the offerings of  capitalism/consumerism become insultingly shallow – who needs to pay £200+ for a pair of shoes you can’t walk in? clothes you can’t be comfortable in? Why would an object that simply transmits other people’s experiences, real or faked, be an addictive substitute for real live creativity, cooking, gardening, art and crafts, music and poetry, theatre and story telling, sports, dance, circus skills and martial arts? Making art wakes you from the trance, breaks the cycle of purchasing to blot out despair at the state of your life or the world. So the duty of the artist is to wake the sleeping princess and kiss some frogs to snap people back into their true authentic, empowered selves. The personal is political, and understanding who and how you are returns you to the human race, so there is no “away” to throw things to, there is no one else you can ask to meet your needs without meeting theirs, a fair price for good work, made without danger to people’s self worth as well as their well being, without draining the resources of those to come or damaging the planet that is not ours to mess up.

Any and all well made art will do this, as long as it is made in integrity, made because this is what needs to come next. That it is possible to make choices and make a difference creates a ripple effect, and non verbal art can reach across language barriers, the beat of the drum brings you to the dance, where you learn to trust your feelings and be playful and feel your heartbeat and be whole, needing nothing but the moment of not buying joy, but being  joy…

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