“Living in a Coded land”
Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments:
(The pictures at the end of the blog are all hand made ,by an Irish blacksmith (me)in the three pieces there are embedded clues from many traditions and times in history.They are a very good example of the artist/ worker using (unconscious of the subject)local and national objects to represent themselves;
The above is the title of a recent documentary film on RTE TV. This program attempts to document ‘footprints’ of history that covers the land of Ireland from ancient times to the present day. Using vast and various examples the writer leaves the viewer with as many questions as answers. The viewer is also left with a sense of wonder and curiosity with regard a true sense of their own identity. The director used examples of ruins and great houses, churches, monasteries and graveyards; poets, painters, and playwrights. In doing so the film captures the essence of the contradiction which it is to be an Irish man or woman living in Ireland in the twenty first century.
The general subject matter in the film seemed to crystallize my thinking on the subject of identity and the influencing and shaping of an artist. My argument is that artists do (as perhaps do all people) have a sense of place, and their art, be it a direct representation of the life or landscape, or a piece of music, all has to some degree an echo of the past.(is this a starting point).?
On my life journey, learning the craft, and the craft of art, I have been almost, from the beginning compelled to make items such as reproduction wrought iron gates, Celtic ironwork, Roman arches for garden Celtic crosses and many other craft work from the past. I spent hours studying old and antique things of interest. As there were no blacksmith alive in the area I live, I depended on whatever scant writing there was available, also dissecting old pieces of work in a goal to re-discover the lost art. This interest of antiquity has influences to a large part my style and also my respect for the artisans of the past. I learned from relics of the past and I still learn from relics of the past. As the years went by and craft evolved towards art, the quest of knowledge widened and prompts the eternal question, ‘Who am I’? Am I a product of all my experiences or is there a more profound element to the human condition, I choose to believe that there is, what that “is” is I will probably spend the remainder of my life trying to understand?
If art is anything it is a language (good art) not only reflecting the life of the artist, but rather it is saying a greater or more objective statement. Then to finish on a positive note, let us say and we agree that art is language. To clarify it some more we will call on logic. Logically then we have discovered a new language. Obviously we need to understand what it is saying. This writing has opened up a subject that is for another day, “Living in a coded land” coupled with the ‘language of art’ presents a challenge. Finally it is my opinion that anybody who really needs or wants to reach their potential will find encouragement and fulfillment in the quest for the truth, it is both within themselves and encoded in the landscape mental or physical…