Monday, 5 November 2012

the dance that goes out to the world

So, I wrote that post over on my other blog a couple of days ago, wondering about the direction my work is taking; about why the Indian dance project, as I have been calling it, had not gone off in the direction that had seemed so promising after the Wales workshop. I've been looking for ages, and wondering, about the two strands - the Indian art, and the wild colours of the strange worlds that appear when I 'do not belabour myself with creativity'; when I just follow what's easy and calling to me, without any kind of intention.

This morning I was moving some dance images around, sticking them on a different wall. And I suddenly saw something. The glorious dancer in this image that so captivates me - that I took myself over twenty years ago on the wall of a temple in South India - is not 'my work'. She's not an aesthetic stimulus to the artistic project which I'm always hoping that one day I will get a clear sense of.

She doesn't want to be turned into a charcoal drawing. The message from the stone is not a message about the beauty of the human dancing form, or the bringing to light of the exquisite workmanship of long-forgotten sculptors. Her message is much more powerful, much less intellectual, than that.

Her message is directly to me. What do I do at workshops, at Authentic Artist and Discipline of Freedom, where I go as a 'blocked', or at the very least, somewhat lost, artist? What I do, without thought, without self-consciousness, as if finally taking in great lungfuls of air, is, I dance. And since that first freeing in September 2011, I've been dancing at home - dancing in a curiously Indian way, with bent knees and constantly-moving arms and hands and fingers - dancing till my knees groan, dancing into space. And I've not, for one moment, confused myself by thinking (as I have with singing and playing music) that 'this means that I want to perform, to share this experience as art'. Nope.

I imagine that perhaps this is where creativity truly starts. Inside, flowing down the river, learning the water. And, from this point of view, there's suddenly no discrepancy, no 'two strands' to my 'work'. The paintings that come easily, easily, with pleasure, with joy -  they are the dance that goes out to the world.


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