Posts Tagged ‘Goals’
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Art and/as Process – Inspiration/Motivation

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Inspiration or motivation for making an art work can come from … well anywhere. I started out making art by drawing things I enjoyed. Now making art is part of my process of experiencing and thinking about the world I am in.

     My work with Fluidity got going, although I didn’t know at the time, because of the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The event happened at a time when I was looking for a new direction in my work. Following the incident, I felt frustrated at my own seaming ineptness to act on, or rather against such tragic events. As a way of moving past this frustrated feeling I turned to my creative process. In researching the media generated in relation to the spill I came across a Ted talk by Carl Safina; where he tells a story of a dolphin “begging for help” as oil leaks out of its blowhole. The story inspired me to draw “Wakan Tanka, Human and the Drowning Whale” where Waken Tanka, Great Mystery in Lakota spirituality, is seen infusing life back into a landscape tainted by an oil spill. Wakan Tanka became part of the project because I have just finished a painting of Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a Canadian Inuit activist. In wanting to do more research into First Nations and the inherent respect for nature that is part of their culture, I came across this spiritual figure. The drawing was distributed in Toronto and Montreal as a zine, explaining the story behind the drawing and its elements.

Wakan Tanka and the Drowning Whale_Andrzej Tarasiuk_2010

Wakan Tanka, Human & the Drowning Whale – custom paper, crayons, acrylic paint, 121.9cm by 243.8cm, 2010

What stuck with me after I finished the project were the ‘fluid shapes’ framing the drawing. The shapes stand in for the four elements: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire, a reality from which the figure draws energy for the beam of light/life. That flowing reality inspired me to further explore, through my artwork, ideas of reality as a perpetually changing, interconnected process. I became interested in the relationship between being and becoming of elements which make up reality, such as ourselves.

     “2011 Fluidity” portrays locations in Toronto as an interconnected flow of elements making up a whole. “2012 Fluid Shapes” explore change by transforming paintings on plywood into three dimensional forms of variable arrangements. “2013 Fluid Shapes” through forceful manipulation of luan embody a metaphor for human interference in nature, changing it to suit our whims. “Fluidity: Actual Entities and Occasions of Experience” centered on interconnectivity by portraying figures as outlines blending, into one another and their negative space environment.

2013Fluid Shape 6_Andrzej Tarasiuk

Fluid Shape #6 – 13cm x 8cm x 5cm, Luan, paper, acrylic, tung oil, 2013

    My next body of work will, like the “Wakan Tanka and the Drowning Whale” drawing, directly address the rapidly changing environment duo to human actions, this time focusing on the dramatic loss of biodiversity. What I am really excited about is that the work will be based on research that includes my own visit to the places I am reading about. My project proposal, to observe and learn, has been accepted at a biological research station in Ecuador and a wildlife rescue centre in Peru. Both institutions work towards preserving biodiversity through research, conservation and education. While there I will learn about the topic first hand and participate in the institutions work. My goal is to absorb as much as possible while painting watercolour studies as a catalyst for the work to be made back in Toronto.

     That frustration I felt at the time of the British Petroleum 2010 oil spill has acted as a catalyst for personal growth in a way I never expected. Through the motivation of waiting to do something, no matter how significant, it inspired me to do a great deal, some of which I touched upon here.

Art and/as Process – Sanding the cushion pad on magnet

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Picture a snake eating its own tale. It’s a good way to illustrate the creative process. There is no real beginning and end to it: we do things, absorb things some consciously most subconsciously, we doodle, tinker, make to-do lists, deal with logistics, and here and there we mark the cycle with ‘works of art’.

     Having been engaged in this process professionally for over a decade, with some extremely prolific periods, I realized that the artwork in itself is merely the tip of the ice berg. Most people experience art in its ‘final’ form; after the artist, having reached a certain climax with an idea steps back and hands it over to the environment where time and context take over the shaping of the piece.

     That said please take this idea of ‘climax’ with a grain of salt. What this and future videos in the “Art and/as Process” series will focus on are the activities that are part of the creative process, some of which may be obvious others I hope will be surprising. I want to show the everyday, ‘mundane’ aspects of bringing a work of art to existence. I hope to demystify the notion of the ‘artist’ grounding it in everyday activity that overtime results in the acquisition of ideas, creative and hands on skills as well as experiences which in turn are recycled back as artworks, the snake eating its own tale.

The music heard in the background is from the Mule Variations album by Tom Waits, “What is he Building?”




Blog: What, why, when, where and how?

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I am starting this blog to explore the notion of Art &/as Process.

To me a work of art is not a static object but one which shifts in form, meaning and interpretation. As an artist I am involved in all the stages, some more obvious than other in the life cycle of a work of art.

I will use this blog to address different aspects of my creative process not shying away form the everyday mundane aspects of bringing a work of art to existence.  I hope to demystify the notion of the ‘artist’ grounding it in everyday activity that overtime results in the acquisition of ideas, creative and hands on skills as well as experiences which in turn are recycled back as artworks.

This blog will include writing, images and video connected to my interests, research and work process. Post frequency is likely to vary, but my overall goal is to have one a month.

The website has been designed by Adam Sawicki.

It is powered by WP and f8.