Monday 9 April 2007
I have problems with decorative art. On one hand I am really drawn to it, patterns have always strongly appealed to me - my earliest art memories are about tracing, copying and inventing patterns. However, another part of me is quite turned off by it. I notice this attraction/repulsion most especially with baroque art but any obviously decorative art will trigger that 'push/pull' feeling. I get that feeling from this envelope and nearly rejected it for that reason but decided to push my comfort levels a little and let it in the project.
I know this reaction partly comes from the disdain in which the decorative is held in the fine art world. If someone calls your work 'decorative' in a contemporary fine art setting then they're usually being insulting. I trained in sculpture and feel that my work belongs in the contemporary fine art world so inevitably I've absorbed some of those biases, even though I am naturally aligned with pattern-making. It's odd that I can admire decorative qualities in other people's art yet feel so uncomfortable with it in my own work. Still, I can't completely avoid 'the d word' because my work so often deals with both pattern and domesticity, which have traditionally strong associations with the decorative. It's an ongoing issue that I struggle with, maybe I'll crack it one day or maybe that discomfort actually fuels my art and I should just accept and use it.
Posted: 11.28pm on 16.3.07