Tuesday, March 27, 2018

what is this?

A little while ago I read an interesting book "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" by Rebecca Solnit and made some notes to come back to for an artist book later (perhaps). 
I  also revisited Michael Leunig's "Holy Fool" and was delighted by some of his thoughts on creativity and the need to lose it sometimes. I was in the process of making a small book for my friend in Finland and was reminded of what I too think is so important in my creative endeavours. Bring out the pomegranate ink and search for the B&W photos.
Once we concentrate on the difference between 'not finding one's way' and 'losing oneself in a city' we can achieve a practice of awareness. Leunig talks about "how not to know" and "how not to care", "to follow the messy path of unexpected regression" and achieve a state when "ego and ambition have sufficiently crumbled."
Solnit says it as "it's ok to sometimes experience not knowing what to do next -to run into a barrier." Or "it's ok to realise that life has a mysterious quality to it... an element of uncertainty. This is what drives my creative practice and helps me make new work. It is this collaborating with chance that provides the spark. 

Here's a final quotation from Michael Leunig that I think really nails it:
"getting lost in regression and solitude, a subliterate, semi-delirious way in the depths of one's being for a while- there to invent one's art freely and there to find enchantment, infinite surprise and the bright wonderous question - 
"What is this?"


Helen M said...

A very meaningful and timely post Jack. Much appreciated.

Jack Oudyn said...

Very perceptive Helen.

susan bowers said...

I have to smile ....... I bought Rebecca Solnit’s book, two of them actually, last year and was very happy to get lost in it! Not only did it live by my bed for months and months (indeed it still may be there buried beneath a growing pile of ‘wanting to read’ books) but opposite me, on a table in the bedroom, sits a bundle of five of Leunig’s books. Not the one you are referencing unfortunately. I am such a fan of his, and of yours as you know and now that I think of it, the same quirkiness and perspicacity I find in his work, I recognise in yours. Silly of me not to have noticed this before.

Jack Oudyn said...

I don't often o back to check on my older posts but so glad I did check this one. Thank you for your kind comments Sue but I still can't help wanting to be even just a bit more perceptive like Leunig. I've only recently discovered the "New Philosopher Magazine" (airport reading) and Leunig has a big swag of his artwork in. Must check out the magazine more often -our library doesn't have it.