BEING TRUE TO ONESELF IN ART
In a beautiful 1997 interview, David Bowie spoke eloquently about being true to oneself as an artist.
“Never work for other people”, he told us. I will publish a link to the interview later in this article but, for now, let me paraphrase Bowie's words:
“Always remember that the reason you started working was that there was something in you that, if you could manifest it, would allow you to understand more about yourself and how you coexist with others in society.”
I very much agree. Even when fulfilling commissions, I need to be given a free enough rein to let the journey take me where it will. My two most recent clients for commission understood this wonderfully, and it is marvellous to feel that the client has enough trust in the artist's ability to fulfil the brief with minimal intervention.
I believe that my best work is created when I fully let go. Though I adore water – the sea, rivers, ponds and lakes - and I crave to be near it, I dislike swimming; in fact I am afraid of being in water. In art though, I feel most comfortable when, to borrow David Bowie's analogy, my feet do not touch the bottom; when, as he urges, I have gone in a little deeper than I believe possible for me.
In SPEAK YOUR MIND (2020) I did just that. In this picture I am pleased by the juxtaposition of form and anti-form, the suggestion and negation of objects, the apparent depth within the stark minimalism, and the feeling of space. I did not know where this piece would go - a thrilling sensation.
I feared that SPEAK YOUR MIND would be just too 'out-there' for the public, but it has become one of my most appreciated works, and has been given one of my highest catalogue prices by the company which represents me.
SPEAK YOUR MIND (2020) - Haydn Dickenson
In the interview with Bowie below, he speaks of coming to understand more about ourselves through our art. To this, I would add that we also open an ever-increasing potential to do so. The process never stops. A new painting is a poor one if, when I contemplate it, it offers no reflections of my personal journey, however elusive and private.
SOLO 23 (2023) - Haydn Dickenson
Copyright Haydn Dickenson 2023