Earlier this year, myself and a friend went to visit, the Souzou exhibition at the Wellcome Trust (see link below left.) For me the attraction to the exhibition was its link to Japan (which I've always had a soft spot for) and the fact that it was exhibited in the Wellcome collection which is definitely becoming one of my favourite exhibition spaces in London. I must admit at this stage I had very little knowledge of the Outsider Art movement, the exhibition featured a selection of artists the majority of which had mental health issues, however were able to express themselves through their chosen art form. My personal favourite was 300 objects made of twist ties by artist Shota Katsube, each figure was completely different with its own identity, they reminded me of some of the toys available in my childhood however a lot smaller and more delicate. My friend and I had a tea from the cafe and reflected on how freeing it was to see artist with no formal training creating art as a form of therapy.
(Will be available on iplayer til the 10th Dec but managed to find it on you tube in 15 minute clips)
After watching 'Turning the Art world inside out' it shed more light on outsider art and artists and furthermore I felt completely inspired to be freer to create work without an audience or agenda in mind. The show begins with the question 'what is outsider art?' presented to art professionals who have affiliations with the movement, this begins the journey of the roots of Outsider art and the role it plays to the artist, the different ways its encouraged globally and finally the art world as a whole. Personally, the artists throughout the documentary didn't feel exploited however I did wonder who received the loyalties from the more dependant artists. One of my favourite attempts to define Outsider Art quoted by Frank Maresca a New York gallery owner "Outsider Art owns nothing to art history." I think I like this quote because often the art world can seem very exclusive a bit like a members only club, whereas Outsider art allows everyone to be an artist and the Picasso quote "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." was also mentioned during 'Imagine' seems to embody the innocence of the practitioners.
I was scrolling around iplayer and came across the winter addition of 'Imagine', (an art focused programme in the UK), the current addition subtitled 'Turning the Art world inside out' has inspired me so much I decided to dedicate this blog entry to it.
After watching the documentary, I felt so free my whole direction and agenda has altered and I am currently trying to figure out how to dedicate my whole practice to the Outsider Art movement, for me this documentary is a must watch.
The week of the 4th November was pretty eventful, so much so I've only had a chance to write this post today. It started on Tuesday with a visit to Hokusai exhibition just off of Brick Lane. A Japanese artist with a prolific range of traditional art work with hard hitting themes. The exhibition was great, recreating the red light district in Japan in the 18th century through paper lanterns and traditional 3D imagery.