STEPHEN BOOTH - statement
A rock is a rock… A flower, a flower… Any of the meanings or feelings we experience, from objects or words, arise from our own learned culture, associations and personal projections. The real power is not contained within the object, but within our perception of it.
The languages and forms of the ‘Fine Arts’, from the ancients to the post post modernists, have attempted to express their own particular concerns, ideas, philosophies and culture. Each form or type of art may be distinctly different and yet still contain this common, if perhaps underlying, quality. The individuality of artwork may spring from the combination of many elements; however they are all finally embodied in the personality and vision of the Artist. It is through their perceptions and explorations of themselves and their cultures, while viewed through the lenses of an ever-changing environment, which is at the root of all Fine Art.
All the information we gather is utilized as we continually exercise our most primary needs. We subconsciously and sometimes consciously, set about to determine how things function and most importantly for us, where and how we fit within our environment. Every sense we have is geared to pick up the smallest of nuances that ‘Mother Nature’ has deemed necessary for us to get this far in the competitive worlds of both nature and human society.
When fire became our first ally against the cold night or simply when we discovered that not all of us were ‘math's wizards’, our boundaries and our associated identity shifted. Our environments, relationships, skill sets and experiences all alter our sense of ‘self’
These environmental elements are to be appreciated and incorporated into the work and should not be framed out or simply denied. Life is a collage of senses, mind and 'soul.' Any attempt to try to constrain or limit a way of seeing or feeling through a formal approach will be limited from the outset.
The collating of ideas, images and the approaches of the post modernist artist is not simply counterfeit. Instead, considered in the context of language... a work of art, not unlike a word... becomes meaningful in its usage. Through the rearrangement and contextualization of 'art', new meaning may be created... and not unlike a word in a language, 'art' only lives so long as it is used and appreciated.
The languages, media and approaches used in the production of Art, have, do and must remain open. As the language of culture, Art moves not independently but with the times. Through it, we attempt to synthesize and preserve our efforts, movements and memories. It has the potential to take the seemingly insignificant to the level of the profound and beautiful. It can push our tolerance and understanding, as it probes at and within the membrane of culture. It enables us to reach for the irretrievable.
I see the potential to create more from our individual environments than simply functional and utilitarian spaces. While still addressing a space's particular nature and function, there is an opportunity to express and examine how spaces do, shouldn't or how they may need to affect us. Environments have natures and characters, which are not neutral and do not go unnoticed. However we my attempt to deny it, Art is never perceived separate from its surroundings.
Everything from garbage to money, from pressing issues to colorful sheep planters, my goal is to amplify our awareness of ourselves in our environments. My questions of value, appreciation and beauty are often explored through contrast and context. Within each artistic language or style, lies a complex coding of association and reference. Each language has and is confined by both its strengths and limitations. For me, the purpose, question or motivation for a particular work become the decisive factors in choosing the appropriate style, language, medium and environment.