The Age of Loneliness

The age of loneliness

How do you discuss your art practice?

Early in January the BBC aired a documentary produced by Sue Bourne based on the concept of loneliness in contemporary Britain.

“Lonely. It could be you. It could be me. There are millions of us out there.

The headlines call this ‘The Age of Loneliness’. They say it’s a major public health issue. A silent epidemic that’s starting to kill us. But we don’t want to talk about it. No-one really wants to admit they are lonely.

Award-winning film-maker Sue Bourne believes loneliness has to be talked about. It affects so many of us in so many different ways and at so many different stages of our lives. So she went out to find people brave enough to go on camera and talk about their loneliness….”

Annoyingly it is no longer available on BBC i-player, unless you want to buy it, however I found a link on the Dailymotion website: www.dailymotion.com Hopefully it will still be available for a while longer?

There are numerous dating sites on the internet, but that’s not necessarily what the majority of lonely people are looking for; and of course there are Social Media sites. If the solution were that simple then no-one would be lonely at all.

It occurred to me that a high proportion of artists practice on their own, but at the same time, by their very nature, have high levels of self-motivation, have a broad range of historical and contemporary cultural knowledge and experience, and are keen to have the opportunity to show and talk about their artwork/practice.

Therefore if a few of us got together and booked a local venue/space, to talk about our current work-in-progress, then people could come along and meet others who may be in similar circumstances.

Not necessarily to persuade people to become artists, but more by way of providing an inspirational insight into the way artists think, view life and make connections between seemingly unrelated objects, issues, materials, technology, etc. Teaming up with others that have the odd hour to spare in the local community would lessen the pressure on any one individual and at the same time provide a varied mix of interests and possibilities to those that attend.

From our perspective it would help in considering how our practice/artwork could be presented to the public, rather than to a knowledgable gallery owner or curator. There is no need to use pretentious art-speak for instance.

You don’t need to grab someone, shove them into the face of someone else and say ‘there, be friends!’ I’m sure they are quite capable of starting a conversation on their own. The point is to provide the opportunity in the first place, an opportunity that individuals are unable, or are unaware that they are able, to organise on their own.

I recently approached the local library, they think it’s a good idea and they have agreed that I can use a communal space to test out my notion; so I will book some time-slots, place an article in the local free papers and sound out some others to help me out.

I believe the objective is to keep it varied, but primarily to make it a regular occurrence. We can always identify other local clubs, societies and community groups which they may subsequently gain the courage to approach/join.

Loneliness

You’re not alone in feeling alone,
Unless you say so then no-one will know.
How can I help you,
How will I know,
That I am united and you’re on your own?

What do you want,
What do you need,
What is most Interesting,
What do you read?
What do you listen to,
What do you see,
It may be of interest to someone like me?

You’re not alone in feeling alone,
Until you say so then no-one will know.
When can I help you,
When will I know,
That I am united and you’re on your own?

Where have you come from,
Where do you go,
Do you just sit there,
Do you like snow?
Do you like water,
Do you like trees,
You may find connections to someone like me?

You’re not alone in feeling alone,
Do something about it and then I will know.
Why should I help you,
Why should I know,
That I am united and you’re on your own?

I am an artist,
All self-motivation.
My thoughts are like people
That pass through a station,
Everyone different
Yet somehow the same,
Highly efficient,
Dishevelled or lame.
Most of them fleeting,
Few that remain,
None of them wanting to know me by name.

You’re not alone in feeling alone,
Unless you say so then no-one will know.
How can I help you,
How will I know,
That I am united and you’re on your own?

Joe Tymkow – Editor, SATmag 7th February 2016

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