Friday, 4 May 2012

So What's New Leo

Lots of people have been asking me so what's new Leo, what's happening with your art? How come they're not hearing much from me at the moment. Well it's not that I'm not keeping busy, in fact I'm extremely busy all the time.

I've refrained from exhibiting lately in group shows this year and have been deliberately holding back images of new work as well until I'm ready to. I guess I'm taking that time out to focus on a new portfolio or body of works that I feel positive about, as opposed to rushing bits out here and there (like I did in the past) for group shows without spending much time to really reflect on what I had made.

Having my studio has also meant I have been able to work a lot of things out for myself: How long it takes me to make pieces of work, small sculpture, large sculpture, collages etc. or how much materials am I using for each piece. These various important questions can only be answered when spending enough hours on them. So the collection is building, but gradually. I've been able to construct a better sense of my craft, my skills and my artistic interests.

Because my work is quite obsessive, one thing I fear is that it is too slow, and I'm not making as many works as I would like to as a result. Often when I am working on a piece, I get half way through and still feel like this is hopeless. Then suddenly closer to completing the piece I feel the reward, suddenly it was worth spending a month just on that one piece. But I often think if I was working in a more speedy medium, such as drawing or painting or something similar, I'd have created a thousand works already with my obsessive work ethic. As some of you already know, those who've seen small images on my camera I carry round of my recent works, it's quite labour intensive. The amount of hours gone into the work is evident enough. Others of you will come to see and find out in time.

My collages can often take up to four weeks each to make (and that is in between everything else I have to do on the go). I try to figure out how many pieces I could make in a year, working out ways of speeding up processes, how to prepare the materials better. Can I buy certain things ready made, can I outsource, how can I cut costs, can this be laser cut, engraved by machine or is it cheaper to learn to hand engrave myself? So many small and big things to work out. Since each piece is bespoke, unique and isn't mass produced, copied, or printed, it makes it harder to produce a collage or sculpture series quickly, but rest assure I am working on a couple of small series / limited editions alongside the bigger pieces for people to collect in the near future.When the time is right, when the time is right.

And like the Dutch Grolsch advert says "We only let you drink it when it's ready", so I'm laying low, doing my bit, but still rolling my rock and learning new things all the time.