I realised in selecting work to include in 'Elements', that I’d been involved in a certain kind of ritual behaviour ever since as a kid I used a formula bound up in words to control the dodgy tree depicted in my second drawing. This behaviour continues sporadically all the way through my life to 'Feeding Crows Instead of Making Art' and into my present art practise. I think the last 10 years that I’ve concentrated on learning painting I really have been ‘Making Paintings Instead of Making Art’ it’s a sort of playful gesture born out of insecurity, like all the other ritual gestures I’ve made. In fact I think for me art made in this way is the kind of ritual behaviour through which I can distance myself from the results of my actions just in case my actions are crap.
Feeding Crows came out of my playful need to deal with a conflict between myself and my teacher Roger Ackling at Chelsea Art School, and indeed the deep conflict I felt between myself and the art world in general. Feeding Crows was always a very tongue in cheek gesture, and yet ultimately is the best thing I think I ever did. It’s the closest I ever got to making real art.
Text by Rachael Tyrell
Photograph by Rachael Tyrell
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