The Devil Inside
Ever the Fool
When art speaks...
It seems that since I have started hubbing that my Art is beginning to take on a life of its own. Each piece seems to be popping up with its own story to tell. Artists are story tellers who work with paint instead of words. A picture is worth a thousand words or so they say...but now maybe the pictures need to have their say anyway.
Well tonight this sculpture is just howling out at me...jostling for his turn in the line up. He is not my usual type of creation. He is not happy even though he wears a flower in his hair. He is not nice...in fact if you listen long enough you will hear his bitter complaints and see the pain in his hollow eyes. He came from deep down inside me...from the little compartment where Pandora's box of hurts and sins is stored. Hidden away from the light of day. But like in the story of Pandora sometimes the monsters have to be unleashed.
In July last year I did a course on paper clay with a wonderful artist and woman named Bunty O' Connor. You can see more of Bunty's work here She has become my mentor.
Bunty told us that when she starts to sculpt she often has to make several lizards before she can begin a serious piece. The lizard is her totem and he keeps bubbling up to the surface insisting on coming out before she can tap down into her subconscious. For several of our exercises we were instructed to just play with the clay and see what came up...what bubbled to the surface. It always was a surprise to see what happened next.
I sat there and kneeded and tore and pulled and let my mind go blank. Suddenly I punched my thumbs through the oval of clay I had been unconsciously moulding and I let the form hang in midair..suspended on my fingers. Then I saw him. The little monster trapped inside. The frowning face behind the smiling mask. I had met my demon.
I laid him back on the table and began to let him talk to me..to let him tell me his form and fancy. As I worked I added the howling mouth and the spindled horns. The soft clay felt good between my fingers and I felt all the frustration and anger that I often hold inside flowing out of me. I dragged my fingers down his face making deep tracks leading from his eyes. Tracks that no doubt tears had flowed down too many times to count. My fool held all the bile and fear and anger that I refused to acknowledge as a part of me.
Could this really be a part of me? This snarling imp? Where did this come from? I did not know..but I did know that it felt good to set him free.
How often do we hold our hurts inside..afraid to let them out. Afraid to hurt others or worse..afraid to show them because we will be looked at differently? Why do we always feel we need to wear a mask. To tell the world we are OK when really we feel like lashing out at all the injustice and the bonds that are chaffing us? I know I often do.
Tonight I am fed up and angry and feeling more and more to just grab my paints and my back pack and get the hell out of here. Feeling trapped and angry and wondering if it is all worth it. Tonight I am my green mask of snarling fury.
But like always I will wear the pretty little flower in my hair and smile, and pretend it is all just a game, just a play.... and push the demons back down and silence them again.
Check your demon at the door....
Ever the fool.........