Should we be seeking coherence in our art?

When I first attempted to show my work through the local Open Studios I was rejected and the feedback was that I lacked coherence in my work.


This may have been true but I have to question, unless you paint for commercial reasons, how can your work be completely coherent if you are on your own personal life journey? If you paint from your heart and from you then it is a representation of you, and if your work is not apparently coherent then this means you yourself have not found yourself completely. This should not be criticised but acknowledged for the bravery of exposing this journey at probably your most vulnerable times.


Throughout the last 3 years since I found a way to reconnect to my art through unconscious expression. Alongside personal therapy my work has changed in style and my technique is continually developing. I look back now at some of my portraits and would love to go back and improve them in terms of technique but at those moments that I created each piece they were finished and completed. Whilst they appear now to technically not be completed this was also representative of my journey, I was just in transition. I was just a ghost of myself emerging back then, rather than the expressive depth and energy I show in my style now.


I am sure in years to come when I as a person have become much more stable and confident in who I now am my art will start to have some coherence. Either this or I sell myself to the market and find a style that works commercially and repeat it, although I have tried to recreate the likes of Geisha to no avail, because I am developing away from this stoic style. For now though, I see a coherence in the theme of my work, in the continual journey of needing to express and acknowledge all sides of ourselves in order to feel balanced and at peace.


MY JOURNEY THROUGH MY ART


Recognising the unconscious continual coiled spring tightening inwards towards and releasing outwards away from what was felt as depression. When it was released it became complete chaos and so needed to tighten back in again to a denial of self.

Each time I uncoiled something new and darker emerged, slowly releasing, and so my journey from the deep dark place I feared

Therapy located the source of the depression as a suppressed anger related to my fathers difficulty with his own and with my difficult emotions. I saw him need to view life as ‘perfect happy’ and to me this is not possible unless you can accept an

I was left trapped inside of me when my difficult stuff got denied, leaving me alone in sadness ad frustration. I passively screamed to myself, in my private oubliette, but nobody would see.

I became the Geisha, still and calm to the outside world, full of colour and life inside not daring to come out, but starting to see to myself who that person was that was hiding.


I have started to find my voice and to see it be accepted. Showing my darker feelings with confidence has enabled full expression of all sides of me, my humour, my sensuality, my creativity, my calmness, my introvertedness. My style of art is much less stoic whilst also making cognitive sense of my unconscious processes.

There is a coherence in theme, but a journey in style, because there is a journey in me!

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julie.raworth@hotmail.co.uk

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