Week 14 at Claremont College

When Should I Get Started, and Why Should I Bother Anyway?

Happiness Project
The Happiness Project was a three year project that involved artists, health and community workers and educators working in collaboration with community members to make 37 beautiful films about what true happiness means to them. Kickstart Arts worked with hundreds of people from Dover, Cygnet and Glenorchy in the south, Oatlands and Levendale in central Tasmania, and Flinders Island in the north to make films exploring happiness. During 2012 these films were screened around the state at Launceston, Glenorchy, Oatlands, Franklin, Flinders Island, Parliament House, Salamanca Lawns and The Glenorchy Works Festival. The films toured in The Happiness Pod; a purpose built mobile solar-powered cinema, complete with bean-bags and geodesic artworks under the banner of the ‘Fabric of Life’.

Well, no time like the present! it may be bleeding obvious, but really, there is no time like the present. You can stare at that blank canvas, look at that box of pencils, buy the materials, set up your studio space, and sit and wait for inspiration, all your life if you want, but you are only really going to become an artist when you start making art. if it is conceptual art, performance art, rubbish art, you still have to do it, no one else is going to do it for you. And this is where we come full circle, back to the beginning…

So many people reckon art today is something anybody could do. Ahh, yes, that may well be true, but YOU didn’t! And I did, and on so many levels that is what will make you an artist. Believe it or not, most people will respect you for it in the end. Some will even be jealous! But only you can bring it about, only you can decide, yes, I’m going to give this art business a go. And a business it is! You can start out slowly, but you can’t really dabble, you really have to give it a proper go.

You may come across people that dabble in this and that, and that’s fine, but ask the when they last exhibited, and you may well get a blank response! Its not about judging, its about seeing yourself as a valuable part of society, and that your art needs to be seen, engaged with, appreciated, even ridiculed. As Francis Bacon famously said, He didn’t care what the response of the viewer was, good or bad, so long as their was a response. You need to make art because the people around you need you to make your art.

Art is an act of intervention. To intervene is to ‘come between so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events’. That is, when you make your art and take it out into the world where it belongs, you will change the people who engage with it. This where the permanence of your work is not relevant, because it is the Art Effect that you want to create, not an Artefact.

See you out there!


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