I am re-writing my Manifesto. Now that I’ve lived with it, I feel I can penetrate more deeply into the ideas – what I want to say – and strengthen the links with climate change.
It’s taking me ages – at least 600-700 hours so far – because I’m actually working out the theory as I go along. When I have 3 clear days I think I can finish it – but I’m not sure when that will be because I’m so busy at the moment. I’ve decided to post it as far as it’s done. I’m still working through it and will add more as it’s completed.
My Manifesto is about feelings about things – these feelings are our primary and direct contact with reality. They are primitive, earlier than language. What art struggles to do is to communicate these feelings directly. It is through art we touch reality.
My aim in life is to understand the world I live in. I think that to become an art lover is to become a freedom fighter for a better world.
Being an art lover is an activity – you’re active, not passive. You’re investing everything you’ve got when you really look at a painting. The motto of this Manifesto is ‘You get out what you put in’. It’s the opposite of being a consumer. You’re not just passively sucking things up. This applies to all the arts but, for the moment, we’re just thinking of what can one person do. Right now you can start going to art galleries if you live in or visit a city.
When I was teaching in Berlin, I sent the students to the galleries and said to them, “Before you move from one room to the next, think which painting you would save. And, if you continue going, in 6 months time you won’t choose that painting – you would choose something else because you’re developing your powers of judgement and discrimination. Being an art lover is the best education you can get.�
In my studio I send the students who come for work experience to the Wallace Collection – it’s great because it also has furniture and other applied arts, especially Sevres porcelain. Remember when you go to an art gallery that as far as I know there’s nobody in the world who can do anything like that now – not even paint one little flower on a teacup.
When I first went to the National Gallery, I ran out because it reminded me of a church!
How is it different when you go again now that you realise it’s relevant to your life (to understand the world). Why don’t you dress up and go with a friend?
We can talk about your thoughts and experiences right here in my Blog. You get out what you put in – Get a Life!