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June 2014

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I know it’s been quite some time I last blogged. “What have I been up to?” you may wonder. Exams. But today I went to Tate Modern, in London.

This is a snail:
“The Snail”-
No, seriously. The above artwork is entitled “The Snail”. My sister and I went to an exhibition at Tate Modern called “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs”. Matisse lost some of his mobility in his later life due to illness and arthritis. But did that stop him from creating art? No. Initially, his cut outs were a way of experimenting with composition, but they later became a medium within their own right. The snail obviously doesn’t look like a snail to us, but it is Matisse’s interpretation of one. Please don’t ask me how. I actually don’t understand this piece. I really just like the blocks or colour.
So why am I writing about Matisse if I don’t understand him? Because I identify with him. 

 Sure, I’m not a sixty something French guy experiencing life during a World War, but his mobility problems are something I identify with. A year ago I tried doing CampNaNo and halfway through my challenge, the doctor told me to stop writing if I didn’t want to create long-term damage. He put me on some strong dose of aspirin and told me to stop using my hands. No writing. No fluting. No saxophoning. Thankfully I got out of doing the dishes for a while, but really it wasn’t worth it if I couldn’t create my art.

“Two Dancers”

It’s difficult to really appreciate his artwork on the web or in print because part of what made is so beautiful are the layers. Above, you can see that Matisse used pins to stick down some of the pieces of paper.
I’m paraphrasing here, but Matisse said something like this: “An artist must never be a prisoner of himself. An artist should never be a prisoner to illness. An artist should never be a prisoner to style.” So I won’t be. The doctor may say I have Repetitive Strain Injury, but I won’t let that get in the way of my art. This of course has as much to do with my writing as my flute playing. Generally, it’s been much harder for me to play the flute for long periods of time. But now that I’m on Music Committee at uni, I really need to get on top of that.

“Nude IV”

So did I really need a long dead French artist to tell me to get a hold of myself and not let my condition deter me? No. I’ve had my mum telling me as much but since she’s been quoting Bible verses at me, it’s not really sunk through.

So… what now?

My first year of University is over and now I’m one of many students looking for something to do. It’s a good thing I’m a writer, or I’d be going insane right now. I intend to do CampNaNo this July, as I have a new story idea. I’m thinking of serialising a series of short stories. I don’t want to give too much away, but it involves Greek Mythology. If I were to reach my goal, and complete the revisions in August, I should start posting the stories on this blog, so WATCH THIS SPACE 🙂