Friday, 30 March 2012

The creative process

We had the second meeting of our artists’ group this week; another interesting and inspiring session. I took along the first two Captain PB images, the second still in progress. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to talk coherently about the work (my ideas are still free-floating to some extent) but actually, in putting my ideas out there, it really helped me to consolidate what I’d been thinking about.

I think this series really began last summer when I was sitting in the military cemetery looking at a pile of pine cones I’d collected. What an interesting juxtaposition; all these seeds lying on the surface of the ground, ripe for new beginnings, whilst underneath them, all the bodies of those dead soldiers rest. Lives extinguished. Life and death; beginnings and endings. I started thinking about newness, new beginnings, starting again, blank canvases, clean slates (to coin a phrase or two...). When a person is born (or something is created), there’s all this potential; everything about them is fresh and clean and unaffected by the detritus of life. What would it be like if that were able to continue… if he or she were free to experience life in that fresh, unadulterated way? Inconceivable really; or impossible at least, but an interesting idea to play with maybe. And then Captain PB strolled onto the plate, a little glowing ember of spirited free-will and expectation. Who knows how he will develop and where he will travel.

Really, he’s a metaphor for the creative process; the birth of an idea with all its potential. Quite often, as an image develops and is influenced by other factors, new elements are added and it changes course to become something quite different from that originally imagined. And that’s the most exciting thing about the whole process.

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