Recently, while filling out an application for our artist group to participate in an exhibition, one of the members changed the group statement. She told us she changed the word play to something a little more professional and serious.
Apparently, she was absent the group meeting when we talking about the necessity of LEARNING THROUGH PLAY.
It is very easy to take ourselves too seriously. If society is going to place all these restrictions on, who can and when you can, call yourself an artist then artists tend to get a little sensitive about their art.
- Write an artist statement that befuddles the reader with language that says nothing but sounds deep just to make sure that they KNOW they are dealing with a professional artist.
-A group statement should be serious. It should talk about our accomplishments, rewards, shows and development as artists and not be frivolous.
What she forgets and what I think is important for everyone out there to understand is that we are a group of women artists that want to understand and explore the materials that we use in our art. We want to see how they are used, how they will hold up and how the techniques work. You do not start on a masterpiece without knowing your materials let alone your intention. And, it is probably best not even to think you are starting on a masterpiece. Start two or three pieces, work on them all at the same time. See what inspires you from one to another, what changes and what accident changes the direction of the entire process.
To find out how something works you need to be free of stress. Stress can often be a barrier to creativity. When you "play" with your materials and don't pressure yourself you will find that ideas start to come and what ifs get jotted down in your notebook. It's through play when we are relaxed and enjoying our experiments that we will remember much more.
Not to mention the play time allows the inner child to join us. We see things through a child's eye. We examine, explore and delight in what we find.
Play takes us in the right direction. I don't believe you ever waste time playing and I believe that we are never to old to play.
I felt that the use of the word play in our description told the reader that we understand its importance in the process. We are not so fearful of who we say we are, that we have to monitor our words.
We are artists. We play. We create. We do it joyfully and with child's eyes we observe the process unfold. We are on a journey, each new product, technique adding to our collection of skill sets and knowledge.
I will never see the use of the word play as unprofessional.
The world needs more adults playing, seeing things from a different perspective. There is no growth if we think we have all arrived. There is no experiment that turned out differently than we had expected and surprised us with excitement and joy.
There is much seriousness. There is only what is deemed "fine art". There is nothing new to be done.
Excuse me while I have a giggling fit. And, now I'm off to play some more in the studio.