I have lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for eight years and I have to admit have not done much in the way of exploring the country or even the region of this fascinating country, I did a little in the beginning but I hope that is all about to change with my new interest in art. Starting this course has been the best thing I’ve done in a long time, it has given me back my energy to learn and be enthralled at what goes on in the mind of other like-minded people. I am sure there is an artist in everybody, same as a writer or photographer it’s just whether or not your willing to explore your capabilities, imagination or talent you have. I hope to now look out for more trips available to pursue my love of photography and writing. However, there has been a new revelation, my love of Art and the question ‘What is Art’ is constantly on my mind, I’m asking friends and family ‘What is Art’ and it is amazing the replies I am receiving, I just love it. I am really surprised at how interesting I am finding the whole aspect of art and what it means. I am eager to find out more about the artists I’ve heard of but never really paid too much interest too. I love that I’m choosing different art over another, meaning I like a certain style or at least I thought I did. I have always tried to take photos that are a bit quirky or show a different angle to the country or place I’m visiting, so I believe I have a certain style when it comes to photography, but now I’m wondering what kind of painter I would be, it really has opened up my eyes. I’ve also learned that the title can be just as important as the art piece, Hirst’s The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living is testament to that, from my first impression of just a picture of a shark that was laughing to actually what it was in the gallery and the possible meaning behind the art piece has just blown my mind. Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ has also made me query ‘What is Art’ how can a man’s urinal be art? Then of course who decide’s what is Art, David Hensel’s laughing head-piece was taken apart, the head returned to him and the plinth it was on was kept and displayed. Who decided the plinth was art? It really is all quite fascinating and I am enjoying every aspect of it.
Back to my starting point, about living in Saudi Arabia, I went a bit off track but I just wanted to add I now have the privilege of working for a company that has built one of the biggest art centres in the Middle East, and is literally ten minutes away. I visited it for the first time at the weekend and was in awe. It is beautiful and contains, a massive theatre, museum, library, workshops, restaurant and shop. I can’t believe what they have on offer and will now be able to visit, I am hoping to learn about the Arab influence in art and will be taking another visit next weekend and hopefully see one of the cinema showings of Van Gough’s work. The outside of the building can be seen from afar and is very impressive and I want to learn more about the artist/architecture of the building, I have to admit I was a little surprised at the phallic like image it portrays in such a prohibited country, again, needs a further investigation.
My final reflection on part 1 is the technical and note taking side of things and what I have learned, and that was to persevere. I had got quite frustrated with how the blog worked in trying to set up the sections for the blog posts to go into, but I knew if I could get it right in the beginning then I could concentrate on the studying, I am so glad I did. I also realised I love my physical notebook, I always have done, I actually collect them as a hobby, and feel happiest with having one with me. What I’m finding myself doing is keeping my notebook with me and then transferring the majority of the notes to my blog, this seems to be working for me. Sometimes my notes do feel a bit scrambled and I need to work on that, get a bit of confidence in what I need to digest as important. Overall though I feel really happy right now I am so glad I have started this course, I am learning a whole new aspect in art, I am doing what I love which is writing and incorporating a few of my own photos along the way to brighten my blog. The journey has only just begun but loving every second of it so far (apart from the technical side of the blog!).