Establishing a connection with the Explorer, and accepting it as part of my makeup, rather than fighting it, has been quite liberating, as has been the case each time I have identified other archetypal influences. Discovering their light and shadow sides often explains a great deal and allows me to make changes to accommodate them – work with the positive aspects and minimise the influences of the shadow side or, at the very least, begin to recognise unhelpful behaviours.
The Explorer pushes me to continually try new approaches , look for new ways of utilizing old techniques and processes, to challenge accepted mores, to be always looking for more instead of just accepting what is. The Explorer allows me to engage with process and, in not accepting that something can only been done the way it always, start to cross fertilize ideas and techniques.
I have discovered that it is unsatisfying for me to produce a digital image as an end point; I always want to take it further, to make a tangible object which, while it might have it's origins as a series of photons on a sensor or a bunch of chemicals that respond to light, might not be the conventional idea of the photograph.
Each year, six months after our Innerlight workshop with Tony Bridge, we hold an exhibition of our work. For the last exhibition I had envisaged a piece of work which I had no idea how I was going to create. An artwork that pushed me to explore alternative materials and techniques; that pushed me to the wire with deadlines; that finally, AT THAT TIME, got the better of me. I made another, more conventional piece of work for the exhibition. However, I am not yet beaten. Art is about solving problems. That problem is sitting, neatly rolled, in a brown paper bag in the corner of my office. Each time I pull out the printer to make a print the paper bag gives itself a little wriggle, just to remind me that it is still there. And has not yet been resolved.
I'm going to resurrect it, start documenting here the original motivation and rationale and progress I've made with it, throw open to the floor my challenges, and invite your suggestions and ideas. And along the way who knows? I might finally get it made and hung, floating in the breeze as I saw when it came to me.