I read this the other day from Joseph Campbell:

“Their task (creative artists) therefore, is to communicate directly from one inward world to another, in such a way that any shock of experience will have been rendered: not a mere statement for the information or persuasion of a brain, but an effective communication across the void of space and time from one centre of consciousness to another”.

The more I read this, the more I like it. It brings me back to the pressure cooker idea (rendering), and also the reason many artists paint (or sculpt, or whatever). We see something in the world around us–a moment, an object, a patch of light–and feel a desire to communicate it, to interpret it and share that interpretation. We spend our lives learning the techniques we need to know in order to communicate more effectively what the inner eye has perceived. In the process we either add to or strip away layers of that thing until it is close to what we have seen. Then we try to show it to others, give it to them–and not just to their eye, but their “centre of consciousness”.

The best work hits the observer in the gut and speaks some kind of truth to them.

Many of the painters I know tend to stick to one subject for awhile and paint the hell out of it–I was at Serge Griggio‘s studio last week and his new series is a lot of paintings of the same prie-dieu (for the non-religious, that’s a low chair you kneel and pray on). The prie-dieu in question was sitting in the middle of his studio, its red velvet taped over with cardboard so that only the basic form was revealed. Written on the cardboard was a quote from Liebnitz: “why is there something rather than nothing? pourquoi il y a quelque chose plutôt que rien?”

Serge is struggling with the “something-ness” of these objects, and how to communicate that.  Ceci n’est pas un prie-dieu.  Et ces ne sont pas des fruits.

falling fruit © bjs


One Response to “rendering”

  1. Sue said

    All we can do as viewers rather than creators is open our eyes, hearts and souls. Rendering is a wonderful way to describe the response to an experience that is sometimes so hard to communicate with words xx

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