The identity crisis continues, but does it matter?

My current artistic journey began in the autumn of 2012 when I started a Foundation Degree at Shrewsbury College (in fact, what launched this blog). At that time, I was a painter. Then, as I began my studies, I became a video artist and a painter combined. Then for a while I was an animator and digital artist. Then I returned to being a video artist again. Three years later at Wolverhampton I returned to paint but was also a video artist. That got boring so I took my hand to sculpture. Finally, I ended as a drawer and maker of weird post-post-modern ironic posters. In fact, I haven’t yet stuck to anything for any length of time. After five years, I concluded that I was a conceptual artist. In other words, the concept comes first and the medium to express that concept follows. That sounded good.

However, more recently, I’ve began painting again. I just had the urge to paint and I followed it. I’ve been painting real things – objects and myself. I’ve been experimenting with technique rather than thinking as deeply as I normally do about the original concept. I haven’t been engaging with an audience so much as I usually do. I’ve just been painting for myself and ‘playing’ for want of a better word. This is not what I normally do. 

One of my recent experiments – my knees

So, now I am questioning my identity again. Am I really a conceptual artist? What is the concept behind these recent paintings? If it isn’t a very strong one (an absence of colour), can I keep that label that I like so much? Perhaps I am someone who doesn’t really know what they are? I think I just create. End. That’s all. There is no direction. Or, I can’t easily discern a direction. Perhaps there is. I think I am lost.

Another recent creation – a black and white egg.

At the end of my final year on the BA course in Fine Art at Wolverhampton I had to give a presentation about my art practice and I created a new term for what I think I am: a rhizomic artist. By that, I meant that there is no hierarchy to what I do. I just go forth and do. My recent creations fit into that particular bucket. Perhaps that term is a cop out. But it is the cop out I’m going to stick with for now. As for my recent experimentation, I hope to do more black-and-white only oils. What of next? Who knows.

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