Contemplating The Artist Zone in Golden Sunset
When I walked to the gym the day after the Olympic relay passed through Leyton, the excitement had settled. I didn’t see the relay, but the Turkish owner of the corner shop proudly announced that it had been ‘Very many people! Very many!‘ at the event and I thought about that quite a lot. What does the number of people involved say about the quality of an event? Sure, we generally value quantity rather than quality, authenticity and depth. To be a part of a group or a crowd instills a sense of normality, comfort and sanity, which is why it is necessary for every artist to venture outside of that comfort zone in order to express individuality and depth. The paradox is that this shared action binds artists together and creates new a comfort zone, which allows individual and irrational explorations. The American photographer Jeffrey Silverthorne talked about this when I interviewed him at Daniel Blau Gallery last year:
“…I think that we are very socially constructed animals and we do these things and they seem genuine, because millions and millions of other people are doing the same thing. I do however believe that there is an authenticity to doing something that you really have to do. You really need to do this and you are putting at risk something. […] I think that when you are doing that, and you are a little more savvy to ways things have been constructed, it might construct a design to ultimately come to a composition. When I do this I am speaking through many tongues, it is not just a fourth tongue. There are hundreds of tongues and I think that as a maker you try to engage a lot of these tongues so that the image isn’t stuck in one moment, but both in the time and out of the time.”
I am not a sociologist, but our society is still my concern. It is finally a summer day in London and as I stroll through Leyton I use the side streets where I can dance a little. When nobody can see me, I can spread my wings and feel free (whilst effectively moving from A to B).
With the gym-scented wind in my hair I run and run and run and exhausted yet energized from the exercise, I walk back as the setting sun is throwing golden layers on all things lined in the direction of the thick rays. The houses, the cars, the trees and the skipping young girl are painted with patches of gold. There is no cheering crowd, but my whole being is buzzing with a love of life. Although it would be great to do a little dance, there are people around so I settle with a knowing smile. If we could store the sun rays in bottles and sell them for a lot of money it could be worth celebrating. Yes, if that was the case, people would be dancing together like crazy at sunset and feel incredibly rich.
Elinrós Henriksdotter, Founder and Chief Editor