Today I was on a panel to discuss arts export. There is so much to say. The Federal Government is pushing for increased exports to assist with our national trade deficit. Cultural industries export is growing very quickly. Whilst there is assistance for the exporter in terms of advice, introduction to markets etc it is an activity which needs immense tenacity, confidence and a definite business approach because it is very expensive. However, there are rewards which include financial gain [or some recovery of costs] and incredible experiences.
I was asked today if my experiences overseas [mainly the Middle East] had affected my artistic expression. I have to say yes. What has affected me is the insight into the dreams, fears and hopes of ordinary people from all over the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. The complete desire for a world of peace where similarities between people are rejoiced has imbued me with a sense of wonder, possibility and abundance. I have thought about those elements of life which we all share eg: heart beat, breath. I have thought about those things we apply to ourselves such as culture and religion which cause differences and unfortunatley often lead to conflict. However, culture and religion are signs of a basic urge which we all share. It is the urge for identity. Peel back those elements which we apply to ourselves and the basic urges are the same.
As an artist...where am I. I read some blogs by younger artists and I am overwhelmed by their confidence in revealing so much of themselves. I think they may regret it when they are older, but is this the maternal instinct to protect coming out? However, the art world is seduced by revelation, defiance and edginess and good luck to them. All I can say is that as one gets older there is plenty of interesting history! I'll keep mine to myself and let my art do the 'talking'.
History Oil on linen 60 x 93 cm 2006