Tea, anyone?

Everyone knows that there are always various interpretations of art works. In the beginning stage of my creations, I often I am not sure of what some of my paintings ‘mean’, but that is part of the beauty of it all. It’s a peaceful exploration of physical materials and mindful matters.

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I want to keep this post short and sweet; because this particular piece was created all within the same day and I think in this case, less is more. I decided to name the piece, “Tea, anyone?” and I will explain why. Alongside my artistic practice/career, I also work in a bar. One day, as I was arranging a tray to take out to a customer, I placed a mug of tea and three small little jugs of milk. The composition inspired me and I jotted it down on a little receipt so that I could remember that composition later. In my head, I wasn’t necessarily planning on making it ‘look like’ the tea and milk jugs, I simply enjoyed the shapes and the position of said shapes.

Later that evening, I start playing around with various colours and textures, but with keeping in mind my planned composition. Often when I am painting I get carried away and let my subconscious take control. Eventually I will notice that my mind may have drifted and then I will slowly come back to a more conscious train of thought. I didn’t have any other preconceived ideas of what I wanted this painting to look like; I wanted to experiment. After maybe an hour or so of playing, I eventually came round to reflect on what I had created so far. The sort of shapes and marks I was unconsciously creating began to form a structure resembling a tree with stems and round, bulbous petal-like configurations. However, this outcome was just a fleeting moment, as I began to get lost in the painting once again. After a few hours, I made a conscious effort to reflect upon what I had created. I noticed that the painting now started to look like a bird’s eye view of my original composition – a mug with a handle and three small jugs. I was almost mesmerised that my unconscious psyche went through such a journey creating this developmental work, and that my mind went round in a full circle bringing me back to my original perception.

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So now you may be thinking that was a nice little story explaining a simple piece of work – but here’s the catch. I was feeling productive, proactive, dare I even say – clever? But then, I sat the painting up and leaned it against my wall whilst I took a step back to admire my own handiwork when I came to the conclusion that all of a sudden, I now hated this piece. When I looked at the painting in that precise moment, everything froze. Time stood still for a mere split second because all I could see was a painting of a big f****** onion with three sliced onions.

I hate onions.

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In this certain scenario, I felt like the story of this painting from start to finish is really what makes the painting. I mean, yes I liked it before I saw the onions and then I hated it because I saw the onions. But then I told my flatmate this little story whilst holding and showing my painting; and his reaction was what made me realise, it’s the story that counts. Just because you cannot see what the story is without perhaps an explanation, doesn’t make it any less interesting. I took a mental snapshot from everyday life, something rather bland and created a rather comical piece of art (very unusual for my practice). Perhaps the aesthetics of my practice has changed slightly, nevertheless, the theoretical side and crux of my practice remains.

In the near future, I do plan to continue this idea of taking something from every day life and creating something wondrous from such a simple idea. Whether that be a composition or a story or a colour; whatever inspires me to create will be created.

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