Stephen Marr. Artist Statement. 2015
Sometimes I wonder if I suffer from a self deluding, pigheaded obsession the way I keep going with this ‘art thing” or if it’s the wonderful gift of a continuing creative epiphany. Whatever the case, after a lifetime pursuing the ennui, I remain intrigued as if each new work is a revelation.
The process comes with struggles, failures, serendipity, frustration and the full gamut of contentment in the quiet joy of craftsmanship. There is a sensuous hedonism in paint textures and smells, in carving perfumed wood, in the application of glazes. The mind wondering on journeys while the hands labor at the task. It sounds self-indulgent.
It becomes relevant to me on consideration of the audience. I really must have something to convey. As time has progressed my work has become more concerned with the human condition and the connection of this expression with the viewer. I offer up an idea/concept/ metaphor or placebo for them to engage with. Perhaps they will appreciate the superficial visual aspects of colours and crafting or delve deeper into their personal interpretation where they can share with me or “own” the work with their individual understandings.
In a typical exhibition setting the viewer is easily overloaded with stimuli so I try to offer work that starts with a simple “take” that belies the depth that can eventually be revealed. For instance with my figurative work the viewer may first of all take in the personality of the character, as this is what we all do when introduced to someone. The crafting of the form will be evident and the title may conjure queries. After this the audience should be engaged in a discovery of their own deductions. This is what its all about for me