Einstein said that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, that it can only be transformed. And yet, I think the action of art, on a visceral level, is the creation of energy, taken from one’s own individual stores, and moulded into something unique, something that only s/he can see in that particular way. It’s a sacred, private, intense and emotionally metabolic experience, akin to a snake shedding it’s skin. It leaves me feeling vulnerable, uncomfortable, breathless. Creation has an aspect of torment to it. When I do it, I feel as though I’m intricately disembowelling myself. Not aimlessly, mind you. With a purpose, which, while somewhat phantom and diffuse, has made the fact of its existence known in no uncertain terms. So I pour through the dimness, creep softly through the shadows, seeking shape and form amid the chaos of everything, the chaos of the painful existence of my mind, which casts a long shadow on the rest on me and my life and often, my closest loved ones. And savouring the wee spots of bright I see along the way. My blood knows, of course, that these bright spots will only serve to highlight the demonic despair that lurks about, never far away.
I find I cannot create from a place of unadulterated bliss ~ there’s simply insufficient creative friction in those moments to record … anything. I find I cannot create from the darkest depths of despair ~ during those moments that part of me responsible for creating withers and dies … I can do nothing but slowly crawl back into myself and wait for the demonic despair to leave my possession. I find I can only really create from that place of mental and emotional purgatory. A place of gentle longing, not exactly of pain, but not of pleasure, either. A place dimly lit, like something out of a Rembrandt painting or one of Hans Reudi Geiger’s drawings. A place with the taste and feeling and colour of potatoes, of things that come from underground. I have this intense, love-hate relationship with creation.
I’m driven to do it, I do it, you know, like breathing. And I only become aware of it when my ability to do it is inhibited or when I consciously try to stop myself from doing it. Like now, when I’m about to send myself to the sketching table to finish one sketch and begin another. Of course, I’ve take myself through all the necessary procrastination rituals ~ one more coffee, one more stroll through Facebook, a stroll to the supermarket to get that thing we really don’t need. All these things feel like inhaling. Knowing, all the while that, because I’m inhaling, I’m going to eventually exhale. Here goes.