It's scary to be lost. Well, most of the time. It's different when you get lost by choice in a vibrant big world city and stumble in the process on the most exhilarating treasures. Like a secluded little courtyard in the overwhelming megacity of New Delhi, a private little community with a huge old ficus in the centre, a dusty cow, a few chickens and a handful of naked children staring at you wild-eyed. Their small world...
I am feeling quite lost at this point in my life and career. The less enjoyable kind of lost. I'm half-way through studying an art degree at one of the best universities in the world, something that I always dreamed of doing but never thought I would. It should be an exhilarating time that thrusts me into a trajectory of unknown creativity and freedom of expression, with a wealth of mentoring support and generous encouragement. Shouldn't it? But that is hardly where I feel myself to be.
My journey has brought me into a maze of confusion and self-doubt, and a loss of the energy and inspiration that have always been a major source of drive in my life. I question the direction we are encouraged into at art school by some teachers and critics, the value and quality of the art that is trending, and an instinctive resistance against following these mass movements. Not only because I inherently don't like following the crowd, but because what is encouraged seems to be lacking skill in making, and depth and truth in concept, although long written theses of accompanying philosophical nonsense seem to be a strong common denominator. I'm not at all suggesting that all or even most art is shallow and meaningless, but that my experience is that a lot of contemporary work, and even that of earlier movements, is lack of skill covered in lots of political jargon or flamboyant personality. Just look at Jackson Pollack. But we're getting off track...and walking on thin ice.
If you wander the streets of an unknown neighbourhood in a beloved city, there are boundaries that tell you that you are still in the particular area. If you wandered too far, you'd start finding farmlands, or the next highway or city wall that separates sections and neighborhoods, signs that these subtle borders have been crossed. I instinctively feel that being true to myself and to my faith in what I believe are the goodness, purpose and important qualities of art, these are the subtle boundaries within which I will find myself again. I am a victim of my own idealistic expectations of the art world. I expected too much. I have to trust more in my intuition, and less in the many leading influences that, in my opinion, are shouting 'how beautifully is the king clothed!', while indeed, the king is quite stark naked.
Let us be the little boys and girls that speak up for truth and sincerity. Let us follow our hearts and not the voices of manipulative critics or impressible majorities. Let us make art that lifts our souls and frees our secrets, that brings healing and hope and understanding.