“The ultimate grip and success of censorship occurs when it becomes part of one’s internal system; and, like termites, it corrodes the insides, till one day it destroys the body it has occupied. Subsequently, censorship becomes the normal, natural state, such that one is no longer aware of its presence, as one’s thoughts, words, art and acts are perpetually filtered through a new sense of carefulness.”
If you have read my bio, you will see the following statement about me“An artist who is inspired by the inner recesses of her being”..
I am acutely aware of the fact that I have not been that person in my work since before I was consciously producing work for the public...
A conversation with a lawyer friend of mine reminded me of something I have had at the back of my mind since I started producing art for public consumption. In some ways, I have become a self censoring artist. I don't live under a dictatorship that demands censorship of its citizens. I live in a capitalist society that believes in freedom of speech. A society where racist buffoons are allowed a public forum on national television to voice their beliefs. There is no dictator that says that I can't paint naked women if I want to, or reverse the skin colours of noted icons. There are films and video games out there depicting extreme violence and sex which appeal to the most depraved element of our psyche as human beings. Yet, I am guilty of self censorship.
I have wanted to express the dark desires that pervade my soul. I have wanted to express more than conscious controlled thoughts about society's ills and let people see the real me, but some THING constantly holds me back.
What is that THING? The self censorship THING. IT is a disease that is eating up my creativity. I feel the need to exorcise IT. To cut IT out like one would cut out cancer. To irradiate IT and blast IT into non existence. But then, I might do my OCD thing and literally vomit everything that comes to mind with no sense of inhibition onto the canvas. Constantly spewing out all of the nasty, crude, vulgar and sick things that come to mind and that I suppress as well as the beautiful touching things that make me feel alive. Would that lead to a great piece of art, or just a vulgar expression of basic human emotion that no one wants to be confronted with, lest they confront themselves?
I have no problem expressing my emotions, my thoughts and feelings. I can do that when I want to and quite eloquently if I may say so. But something stops me from doing this in public. I feel like I need to do something about it before it destroys my creativity. I need to be more intuitive in my work. I want people to feel me when they see my work, I need that to be the case, so I have to let go.
But then are the public not sick and tired of people doing this? Putting everything out there for the whole world to see? Are we not all bored of those tired celebs constantly splashing their private lives every where? I dare say, a lot of us are, but never the less, we devour all of that media information and juicy gossip with voracious appetites. But then, I am not a celebrity. I don't feel like confessing the particulars of my private life in a tell all interview with OK magazine. I just want to express myself through my work. That's what artists do is it not... Unless you are Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin, very few artists are seen as celebrities. Expressing one self in art is not quite the same as confessing dirty secrets to a tabloid magazine. It is not tacky like that is it.
So why do I do it?
Maybe its because I went to Catholic school? Maybe it was the early Jehovah s witness teachings of my Mother and her sisters? Maybe it is the total respect I have for my parents, and a fear of offending them, even as an independent grown woman. Maybe it is a combination of things. Maybe it is just who I am.
In my next piece, I will dig deeper than I ever have before. I will stay honest and true to what I see when I meditate and go deep into my subconscious and truly express those things to the best of my ability. I will try and show you those things in my work simply because that need has always been there, and that need has to be satisfied. It has been a long time coming...
No more carefulness for me in my art.