Georgia Gendall: what do artists do all day?
I have Weetabix every morning (although I did recently dabble in Country Crisp in an attempt to spice up my life but it didn’t spiced up my life so I swiftly returned to the trusty ‘bix).
When I first started experimenting with my breakfast cereal the idea that they could ever be more to me than just pure energy would have seemed far-fetched and very very dull but the latter was exactly what it became for me. The Weetabix’s dry disposition just became a metaphor for my 6am stale routine. The beyond bland spoonful’s as hard to swallow as my commute. Utilising my daily struggle with the cereal (and routine) artistically became of the upmost importance to me.
There are 3 questions one needs to ask their Weetabix while preparing and eating breakfast creatively. This is something you can try at home to enjoy you’re breakfast as much as possible and have made a piece of art before you have left the house.
1) SCULPTURE: How can I sculpturally stack these 3 beige squashed cylinders to make them look as desirable as possible? (Watching Master chef helps)
2) ADVERTISING & IMPACT: How can I mimic the professional milk pourers in the adverts whilst simultaneously trying to minimise the impact of the milk upon the Weetabix’s absorbity? (top tip: pour the milk next to the ‘bix… not upon)
3) SPEED: How quickly can I eat my Weetabix in order to mitigate against the rapidly congealing ‘bix residue?
I’m kinda sick of going on about how hard it all can be. If balancing work and art weren’t a struggle we would have all got bored of it by now and given up – not out of distress but out of complacency. Instead of keeping your day-to-day struggles separate from your practice I suggest embracing them within your practice. To use your mundane and hopeless endeavours to your creative advantage.
I’m not suggesting young artist start pulling some Gilbert and George ‘life is art and art is life’ stunt. But as much as it is a political comment on the socio-economic climate it is also essential to the artist’s survival to integrate art into life and life into art with every task you take on.
When I left university myself and 8 other fine art graduates formed a research group called CaW. Collectively CaW focuses on the day-to-day resilience of the artist and how art practice can be used as a strategy for resilience. CaW’s activity is a critical evaluation of our experiences as we try to sustain our practices in the wider world beyond university. We discuss, perform and document the individual and collective experience of the practical, social and political strategies in which the artist has to undertake to survive.
CaW’s film ‘What Do Artists Do All Day’ offers a collective insight in to the life of 8 young artists attempting to subside in the current economic climate.