Monday, 20 July 2015

Observing the creative process

As artists like PJ Harvey, Mike Figgis and FKA Twigs allow members of the public to observe their creative process, the Front Row episode on Friday 17th July examined what both artist and fan get out of the experience. Instances such as being witness to a musician recording an album, or a visual artist installing an exhibition, allow the public to see 'behind the scenes', hear the discussions that happen between the artist (in the broadest sense of the word) and the team working with them.

The creative process is demystified, and the audience gets an incite into an relatively private space. 
Participation in process is not a new concept, but the current generation are very open to process. The programme was keen to point out that although the younger generation are raised with Facebook and social media being normal, hence the sharing of information with a wide audience is common practice, those from older generations are also joining in with such practice.

But what is it like for the viewer and the artist engaging in this experience? Does the situation seem staged? The viewer an outsider looking at something happen, or a participant involved in something? How is the experience improved for the audience? Michael Morris from ArtAngel explained that in a recent project of this kind, they tried to heighten the experience of the viewer by setting the situation in a kind of vitrine, like a sculpture in itself, with a lot for the viewers to take in. 

"There are generations of people who do not want to be passive spectators, they want to be engaged participants, they want to know more, they want to not just consume the final product, but somehow have an experience of the process".

As for the artists, lots of artists want to be left alone when they are working. Some would find it difficult to get things done because they would be regularly distracted or interrupted by people asking questions.

I have been thinking about the writing of this blog, which is, in effect, the kind of sharing of information to a wide public via the internet, that the programme mentioned. I find keeping the blog it useful, and regard it as an online sketchbook, and a record of the progression of a work or exhibition. It is also very rewarding when someone gets in contact with comments about my work and suggestions of things that may interest me. So, please do continue to do that! My blog provides a chronological record of my ideas, and it is interesting to review how the work comes into being.

I hope that you enjoy viewing my blog, and am always open to feedback and comments, so please do get in touch with your thoughts.

send me an email: helen.shaddock(at)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

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