Thursday, September 21, 2017

A photo from Bucharest, becoming an artist


Bucharest, 2002

Here I am over twenty years ago in Bucharest in 1992. I had graduated from Edinburgh University two years before and was teaching English in Bayswater, London.

I'd taken the decision not to continue making art but to focus on teaching to make a living and get on the career ladder. That decision showed a failure of self-awareness on my part, albeit an understandable one: I can teach, and that offered a much more secure financial future, but it wasn't a first instinct in the way making art is.

In addition, I'd thought that the pleasure I got from travel was just a phase, and that I could happily develop a life in London as permanent fixed resident, with all the usual accouterments and relationships.

So, instead of accepting my nature- that of a nomadic and creative individual- I waged a campaign against my instincts and tried to force myself into a condition I did not suit, throwing moralist arguments about the "good of society" or, "duty" or "career" at myself. I had had some ideas that "happiness came not from pursuit of suit of self interest but in the fulfillment  of duty" (which is not a direct quote from Saint-Exupery, but could well be).

In short, I had thought that  making art could be relegated to the status of a hobby and I tried to suppress my desire to make it.

Eventually I came to my senses.


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