15 April 2008

Portrait of the Artist/Maker as a Bad Character

I spent much of yesterday warding off emails from a group of fellow image makers/artists on Etsy and Flickr. Even though my images have been in "cyber space" for a couple of months, I have suddenly been accused of plagiarism. My immediate reaction was to retaliate, which I did, albeit, briefly. However, the debate of plagiarism has gone on since men/women were drawing on cave walls. However, one's natural instinct is to defend... who am I defending myself from? Faceless, virtual bullies... Is there such a thing as original thoughts/ideas?

Going forward, if my work appears on this blog or on another internet site, please feel free to ask questions about my work. I believe I have been open about my sources, if you read my previous blogs from last week, you will see where the idea for the image Peek-a-Boo came from. The original idea was from a vintage photograph, as is my image "Twilight Oz Fairy" - I have shown before and after images. As my tag is Valentine's Attic - I use the symbol of the heart, both in my image making and also in my jewellery (jewelry) making. The heart is a motif that transcends time and will be used after the trace we leave have gone.

I have debated about intellectualising my work, as my aim when starting a blog and trying to sell my images was purely to make a little pin money from Etsy and other internet platforms and possibly bring someone, somewhere, a little joy through my image making. Sometimes simple intentions have a way of backfiring. As you will see from my Etsy shop - I have sold 3 images in 3 months - hardly a roaring success!

I have given a lot of thought to how fairy tales, folklore and myths, are interpretated in contemporary art and to how in the 21st century we use iconographical motifs vis-a-vie birds, masks, horns and dolls etc. to tell a story. Over the coming weeks, I intend to "refocus" and do further research on this subject and by doing so, hopefully share some of my findings with you. Looking at not only how but also why we use these universal symbols.

I have taken solice from my degree work entitled "Look at Me". Two of the images are above.

Cynthia Ozsick, who wrote "Portrait of the Artist as a Bad Character" - see the irony. One of my favourite quotes is from her:

"What we remember from childhood we remember for ever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen."
Some further reading:

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