Steve Carr talk was very much a reflection on his last 10 years of his art practice and also in support to his up in coming show at Michael Lett gallery. Much of his work have a childhood reference within them and he has 3 very strong over riding themes in his work, Smoke, Air & Circles, and this helps to easily tie his practice together. I enjoyed his strong sense of knowing who he was, from an early stage in his art career. He has carried his ‘bogan, bad boy of rock’ through his many projects. What I also loved is that in his latest work it appears he has ‘grown up’. The ‘Screen shots’ and ‘Dead time’ works have a much slicker and cleaner look about them. It feels like the black jeans are gone and the tidy trousers have been found. What really resonated with me was his belief that “every opportunity is the most important one and treat it as a big event/occasion, because if you believe and value it, than this will not only translate in your work, but also to your audience”. Much of Steve’s work is outside the norm, taboo subjects that he wants to bring out in the open. To do this you need confidence and a strong self belief, he certainly portrays this. Thoughts that were stimulated from this talk were:
- To not be afraid to step outside of the norm
- Belief in yourself, your own creative ideas and thoughts.
- Not to be afraid to outsource to other skilled people when you do not have the skill set. This allows you to be the creative force.
- Try not to over analyze things at times, as this will not allow that moment of failure or mistake to happen. Many times this moment creates the better work, they most certainly often adds to a work.
- Be creative with your resources and approaches. Do not let limited financial support stop you, but let this be another form of creative thinking.
- Look back at old work and analyze not only what is still successful.
- Do not allow yourself to be stifled by your past.
Other speaker who I also felt a connection with were Noel Ivanoff and Henry Symonds. Noel’s methodical approach to his process really struck a chord with me. It was refreshing to see how a methodical approach to applying paint to surface can create some very evocative and engaging work. The finger pull through paint work had both a peaceful yet labouring feel about it. This repetitious action has an appeal to me because of it’s simplicity, but in creation and aesthetic result. The hand made element of the work makes me think of sweat shops, hard labour and struggles of humanity, combining this with the aesthetic beauty creates an uncomfortable tension. Henry’s inclusion of the many memorable objects from his life within his work creates a continuous narrative of places he has been to. Combining objects from many places reads like a memory, where they are jumbled together over time.