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Sunday, 19 June 2011

What the Cat Said

Where Birds Belong K Howell 2011 Pastel on Paper
      I'm slaving away over my artist's statement in the brief window of time available, marveling at just how ridiculous it looks in black and white, wondering if I need to start again, when Distraction strikes. A cat has materialised and seems to be in difficulty. I move my feet. He looks offended, and offers up a self contained pile of recently ingested organism.

"Must you?" I ask.
The cat narrows his eyes.
Do I detect a judgmental tone? (cats speak in italics in my world.)
"I hate it when you do that. It's such a waste."
Philistine, says the cat. I am exploring the nature of birds. I am examining them from many angles, observing their behaviour.
Whatever works. The cat lifts its paw, and licks it.
Then I play with my material. Expand the possibilities. Toss it about. I separate out the bits you'll find most interesting, that's skill, that is. And I leave them where you will be sure to appreciate their qualities.
"The livers camouflaged against the carpet by the window?"
You noticed! That's a Duchampian triumph of Context over Content!
"It's quite off-putting."
You might want to watch your step in the kitchen...
"Why don't you do something useful with your life?" I ask.
The cat blinks. Looks down at its offering.
I've done my bit, mate. I've remade this material into something new.  Make an effort yourself.
"And what about beauty, you murdering wastrel?"
Axiomatic. The cat flicks its tail and walks off.
Artist's statement? What the cat said.

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