Tidying up my studio, listening to one of William Kentridge’s lecture as part of the Norton series, on YouTube. As I tidy up my studio, I listen and watch, though listening is priority as I need to look at what I am keeping, and what I am throwing away.
His lecture, In Praise of Shadows, is framed by the thinking behind Plato’s cave – raising thinking around what is real, what is not. How important drawing is. His voice and thinking is so fascinating, this is not the first time I have heard this. I find a pile of old notebooks and flip through them, one opens on the page of the notes I made about the lecture last year. I will probably read more old notes this evening.
I find images of my very early films, in the 1990’s, made during my MA in Fine Art.
As I take photos of these old works, I hear Kentridge make a reference to the Bunuel film “Un Chien Andalou”. I remember it was that film that influenced the work “A Case of Vanity”. I was fascinated by the gaze at the time, and the corporeal and digital body. It showed the reveal of an image of an eye, that I had printed on a sheet of animal gelatine. It had shock value like Bunuel, but humour too. All of those works contained a sense of humour, which I have largely lost in my art over the years.
I was intrigued by the then news about Dolly the Sheep and made work about that. I used Liquid Light to transfer patterns of various skins onto a sheep’s skull, it still sits on my shelf. While I am typing this, Kentridge is referring to skulls in his talk. It is a very odd synchronicity.
He is talking about how important the studio is to an artist. I have stopped tidying mine up, to write this, as I listen to him.
He has influenced my work hugely. He inspired me to teach myself how to do drawn animation. I love the fact that he merges text with image, music, film, sound. And his scale is huge!
I am not sure where I will go at the end of this day, but it is intriguing to keep finding links between old work and new. I have prints made during my post-graduate printmaking course, and drawings made in school. I am hoping to move house soon, so I can have more studio space. I just can’t wait.