The Creation of Art by Mel Fraser
It is a hard to give reason to what comes down to the very being of one’s existence, but I’ve been given an opportunity to say a few words about the thoughts behind my work.
To be challenged and challenge, inner contemplation erupts with a force that in many ways can not be explained, becoming amplified a million degrees, from the physical, emotional and spiritual then entwining itself into the ritual that is creativity: ‘The Creation of Art’
It is a human condition we can not separate ourselves from; the urge to express, the curiosity to explore with the need and desire to understand life in all its facets whether it be as creator, observer or facilitator, it is one and the same. Wars have been fought and religious leaders have condemned the magic and mystery that is art. It is a powerful force and works of significant importance have been destroyed throughout the ages through fear, ignorance and knowledge.
It is a bloody war that will never cease and takes no prisoners. From the known to the unknown all are hostage to the furtherance to create to breath life into the inanimate. This is the challenge and the responsibility for the artist. It is with this responsibility that I undertake to seek truth in the ‘Thing’ to be created. It is the gathering of knowledge and sensitivity to empathise to look within one’s self to touch beauty and fear and reach into the darkest reassesses of human nature and stand alone in the midst of the battle to find the moment where the silence is given a voice –
The sensation comes and the process begins. To be honest to the thought and meet it face to face one is driven from the concept through an acceleration of bringing solid ideas and ethereal tangents together, striving to convey and reach perfection to the piece in my mind. It is an anomaly: on the one hand one builds the ideas and opens oneself to the senses and gathers from resources of experience and the knowledge, and on the other, the process involves discipline and an almost clinical judgement of material and execution of stripping back the stone combined with a continual analysis of form to reach that magical layer where the inanimate can breath. It does not feel as a completion of a process but a beginning – it has it’s own life. There is a strong symbiotic relationship between pieces, as I usually have several works emerging at once – over a period of time.
The creation of work is my life, my passion, be it sculpture, drawing or the written word. It is a pilgrimage of discovery and dates back to a childhood of quiet solitude. My story books were encyclopaedias of art (yes a little precocious as a 7 year old! ), my eyes opened to the Masters, the likes of Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Bruegel and the torment of Caravaggio and the exquisite yet brutal nature of medieval art. This, you may think places me within a romanticised view of art – but at the age of 11, wandering the streets of Calais, I came upon Rodin’s ‘Burghers of Calais’. It was a pinnacle point, a new phase of my education started and took a quantum leap into a whole new discovery that is still happening to this very day.
This piece first appeared in Art of England, April 2010