In Here Out There, Sculpture at Canterbury Cathedral

In Here Out There Steve McPherson

My friend and colleague Ben Kidger and I curated an exhibition of Sculpture at Canterbury Cathedral for the Canterbury Festival in October 2014

The exhibition brought together a variety of artists that have academic associations with the city of Canterbury and featured work in a wide range of disciplines and concerns.

I also wrote the introduction for the catalogue, the text of which can be found below the images from the show set up, the private view and my own piece ‘Revenant’.

Catalogue Introduction Text

To some the minds of artists are charmed and mysterious places, fortuitously filled with enchanting landscapes of unknowable possibilities. Their skills are gifts given from the gods that have sharpened their eyes and stir their hands. Their talents are more than natural, are magical and trait.

It sometimes seems to the non artist that within these landscapes are endless mines of creativity, which are readily and continually plundered for sparkling jewels of ideas and inspiration that form into pure crystalline exhibitable works of art. Inconceivably the mind of the artist is infinite beyond the norm. It is an extreme and fertile place, where original thoughts spring as planted seeds that grow effortlessly into objects of wonder, beauty and contemplation. Of course a true artist suffers romantically for their cause, bleeding with hope and anxiety into their accomplishments.

To those who practice as artist and those who go further and teach their practice of art – creativity is serious and hard work. An idea can lie dormant, a concept hidden and the struggle to bring to the surface that which is non-verbal into the world of the visual or three dimensional can be a long journey.  A journey of false starts, wrong turns, dead ends and incomplete resolutions. The fields of creativity can lay baron and the seeds of ideas and inspiration have to be deciphered  from the dust that fills all our lives.

To most artists, the process of making is not one of magic, there are no potions of creation, nor spells for success. We do not live the myth, we struggle and strive through a course of potentially futile research  and failing experimentation, to results that surmount to temperamental invention.  It is an urge of a quest to find significance in that which enters our minds and that which we notice that maybe significant. We seek to question,  highlight and capture something that we may be able to call special. A fleeting moment of lucidity in the fog of dust of modern media overload.

As artists, and as teachers of art we understand that there are processes involved and that preconceived notions of artists are flaccid, and do not resemble most in our field.

Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach – we do – we can – we do.

We are creative beings and that which lies within is reflected out, and all that is out – seeps in unintentionally, uncontrollably. Feeding small seemingly in-significants for us to help grow roots in the landscapes of our minds.

The artists creative process may be the filter that serves to sieve and sort the dust that fills our lives; a pursuit of finding that which is worth knowing, worth seeking further,  worth questioning, and that has rooted and has filled the inner and now needs to fill the outer.

S McPherson 5th Oct 2014