(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Us and Them….is there really a difference?

I’ve been pondering the arts in general of late, and how that peculiar particular brand of madness, that is being a creative person, interacts with the structures that other human beings have built to organise groups of people.
It seems to me that our default position,as artists, is to be ‘outsiders’. We are most comfortable with the feeling of being at a certain distance from the ‘normal world’, a distance that grants us a degree of freedom from responsibility…..a freedom that we pay for with exclusion from the trappings of normality (wealth, comfort etc).
We use this freedom to create our own versions of reality through our art….yet, and here is where the madness begins.... we also feel compelled to share our work with others. This in the hope that something we have made will evoke a response in our fellow human beings…..why do we do that?? What are we hoping for from that?? Often times our work comes from deeply held convictions or feelings about the world – we share these at great risk to our sense of self. Again, why do we do this?? I guess that, deep down, part of us wants to believe that others can feel the same things that we do? 
The bottom line, I believe, is that the deep trait that all creative people share is that we are idealists – we are constantly peering into the distance looking for clues and hints of the ‘truth’ or the ‘future’ or the ‘real’ or the ‘beautiful’. 
Losing My Edge
This ability to gaze fearlessly at something from a position of having nothing to lose (ie no ‘status’ in society) gives us two awesome abilities – to be Boundless Pioneers or Pitiless Critics – (I believe we have honed both these faculties upon ourselves in our own work).
When we are in the ‘normal world’ it is very difficult to be a Pioneer (‘ I selling out my idealism even talking to these people’) and very easy to be a Critic (‘if I say this is crap then I can cling to the hope that folk will believe I have a better idea hidden away’)
It has been sad to watch some of the ways that we as a creative community are dealing with the fledging attempts to build a regional approach to the arts in D+G.
Maybe we need to remember the things that bind us all together as creative people (I call it idealism – others will have other definitions) – In our Boundless Pioneering side we have a massive amount to offer the world at this time of turmoil and uncertainty. Personally, I believe we are stronger when we work together – others will feel that they function better alone. I would ask those who are using their abilities as Pitiless Critics on the Regional Hubs and the Chamber of the Arts to look deeply into their hearts and be honest with themselves about their motivations…..if you believe in the possibility of many voices within a common approach then bring your inner Pioneer to the fore and help to shape the creative future for the next generation in D+G…….if you know you are better ploughing your own personal furrow – then don’t waste your time trying to hinder others….just get on with being a pioneer in your own chosen universe.


  1. Blimey, I want to come to that next meeting now.

  2. Let us not forget that all this New Structure is exactly were all part of the process that brought it into being and have a collective responsibility to help it become the best it can possibly be.
    Lets also remember that the thing it replaces (DGarts) was 100% UNaccountable.
    This thing will change and grow - in 5 years time it will probably be unrecognisable from what it is now. For the first time in a while D+G is at the forefront of the things nationally - you artists were instrumental in getting us into this position....don't now reinforce all the stereotypes by going off in a huff and fighting among yourselves