First Things First
One thing you need to know about me is that I swear. Not every other word — I’m not that bad. Usually I swear out of frustration, and occasionally out of anger. Let’s face it, the current political climate is provocation enough.
I really don’t understand people’s objection to it. Having worked in a variety of occupations it seems fairly common place. Walk any High Street and you’ll hear plenty.
There’s even a report I could cite suggesting the larger a person’s vocabulary the more likely they are to use profanity. So if you’re intending to follow me consider yourself warned.
Now, where should I start?
OK, I’ve been married forever and we have two sons, both still living at home. Over time I’ve had several jobs; trainee Draughtsman, Cartographer, Dark Room assistant, Paste-up Artist. I even worked for myself for a while. But with two small children, and a husband working seven days a week, it just wasn’t viable.
That’s when I stumbled into the most boring job of my life — Stock Control. Believe me, after a couple of years I couldn’t give a rat’s arse how much they had in stock. But it paid the bills.
One good thing to come out of the job, however, was meeting my friend, Tina. She wanted someone to accompany her to Creative Writing classes. As it turned out, the class was part of an Access Course and a year later we were both applying for a place at University.
The course was a wonderful way to ease back into academia. That said, it wasn’t easy. The course involved a lot of hard work, including giving up two evenings a week for the classes, not to mention finding time to complete the homework, all while holding down a job and attending to a family.
The job soon went when I managed to dislocate and break my arm cleaning the kitchen floor. While off sick, they offered me redundancy and I took it, intending to leave anyway as soon as I started University. I’ve never regretted my decision.
Changing My Mind
During the first year of the Access Course I studied two subjects, English Literature and Creative Writing, whereas the second year only required me to take one. Which was just as well, as Fine Art was more work than the other two put together!
When it came to applying through UCAS I added it to the list as an afterthought, originally intending to apply for English Literature related degrees.
But as time passed my love of Art was rekindled and by the time I reached the interview stage it was the only subject I wanted to study. But my portfolio was so small, I was worried it wasn’t enough. Luckily, they offered me a place there and then. I was so happy. I cried for hours.
Although I wanted to study Fine Art, I still wanted to write and found Twitter a good place to find out where to submit work. I started writing Flash Fiction, entering weekly competitions while carrying on with the Access Course. Last year was probably my most productive writing year to date. In actual fact, I wrote more words for Fine Art than the other two subjects combined.
That Tricky Question
There’s a whole lot more to Fine Art than, ‘splashing a bit of paint on a canvas,’ as someone once suggested. Which brings me to that tricky question — what exactly is Fine Art? It’s the first thing people ask when they find out the subject I’m studying. So, here goes…
Fine Art is the engine driving society forwards, it’s always a couple of paces ahead. It’s where artists’ ‘think outside the box’ — that blue-sky thinking so desperately needed.
It’s the thing people look at and say, ‘ You call that art?’ because it’s unfamiliar, even though the idea’s often absorbed into culture without a second thought.
Fine Art asks questions some people would rather not answer. It points out the absurdities and injustices of life.
It is not restricted in form, nor material, and the fact it has no boundaries is what makes it so hard to describe.
Fine Art is an experience. It leaves an impression.
If it can be imagined it can exist, if only as a concept — we have Duchamp to thank for that.