I really enjoy keeping up to date with the work of artist and fellow lover of colour, Liz West by following her blog.
A while ago she disclosed that she felt stuck, and so with a little advice from her Mum, artist Jenny West, she developed a project to help her be playful and generate work in a free and open manner.
'Construction project' was intended as "a two or three week project of consecutive days", but has occupied her for a couple of months. During this period, every day Liz was in her studio, she had to construct, document and deconstruct a work using only materials that were already in her studio.
Liz writes, "I felt liberated from the constants I felt I had, able to move freely around my mind in order to explore ideas, respond to space and in the selection of materials I choose."
This exercise demonstrates the creative potential in following rules. I regularly construct rules that i have to work with. Rather than being restrictive, I find that a degree of narrowing down can be liberating. I liken it to looking at things with a macro lens; focusing on a smaller section can reveal and enhance, offering a new way to understand and interpret the world.
Rules are one way of exerting control over what can otherwise be overwhelming.