There is so much misery in the news these days, it's upsetting and distressing. as Slipknot once said 'All Hope Is Gone'. On a larger scale there are wars, animal testing, people being dicks, in communities there are protests, arguments, and people being killed. It's horrific.
Goya created many artworks on the devastation of war, as have many others such as George Edward Butler. In these times of cruelty should more artists be responding more regularly to the atrocities? For those of us in the visual arts, do we owe it to those who are suffering to highlight their plights and immortalise them in exhibitions?
Should those of us in the UK be creating works responding to our political climate? I read an article in The Guardian that commented on our culture becoming diluted, because it's only the rich affording unpaid internships, it's those with the money in institutions that once offered such diversity. It's this lack of diversity that creates a scary ideology, one of prescribed methods and ways of living.
Even artworks not created with political and social themes combat this singular ideology. An artwork can never be 'one thing to all' when people viewing can create multiple questions and answers on any given subject.
Those without old money and privilege create works with what they have, echoing the Arte Povera movement in Italy; art becomes a necessary tool as a way of recording not just worldly events but the individual. Art invites dissent and individually, there is a comradeship across the world of emerging and young artists across the world, their environments, the creative response to all things.
There are artworks responding to horror of war and artworks reminding us of the beauty in life, no matter how short-lived that moment.
Art becomes diary-like, following and documenting the shifts in popular and not so popular culture, art encourages us to not just look at the past but to look forward to the future and to exist in a moment.
There are few boundaries stopping an individual from making art and making an impact. All it takes for someone to take that leap and pick up a pencil, or to smother a wall in charcoal. When pushed for art materials anything can become a tool to be used.
The most revered artists started just like this.
In a world that appears all-consuming and eating itself, I am proud to be an artist and I am excited when I think that there are many many more like myself, in different environments, with different influences, at different stages attempting, and changing our local areas.
Individually we resist the idea that ways of living, and the meaning that life holds could ever be a one size fits all, that there is no monoculture. We explore and gather knowledge, we extrapolate ideas and form new ways of seeing.
And that is pretty damn awesome.