Monday, 17 August 2009

oily rag philosophy

oily rags.....

I was thinking about something India posted; the discontented oily rag students.

When I remembered camping in the yurt by the river,

I made beautiful flags for my friend to put around the outside of his yurt. Then he ran away with the gypsys and i thought it was all over. Funny how tragedy pulls you together again, however, the point is all I have as a memory of this experience is a greasy, skanky piece of oily rag from the back of his car....which not long after he crashed and blood went every where.

So you see the oily rag is now, for me....way way more than a grease soaked grot cloth.

It tells a story.

As an object it doesn't really matter, becasue it is the process and experience behind it that makes this piece of seeming nothingness, to me very special. What is entwined in the fibres and being of this fabric goes beyond mere objectivity. It is not pretty or colourful, but full of the grit of struggle, pain, loss and leaving.

I'm not sure about the oily rag philosophy...yet I was out at Garma festival last week (another adeventure to catch up on...shizza), and artist Robyn Archer talked very powerfully about her thoery of artistic 'detritus'. Perhaps this is akin to the oily rag thinking; that as artists what we 'do' is essentially engage in a process; an unfolding of learning; a submergant experience. What we give to the world is therefore....the detritus of this process. What drives the art markets and auctions are the chucked out reamins, the oily rags of the artistic process.

Detritus : oily rag. Slave and pay over it. Artists have already moved on.

Thus, if you wanna make a pretty picture, a lovely 'thing', remember that it is all rubbish anyway and maybe you should be thinking more about how you got there, what is your story, what has infused itself into when you made it, what dirt is in your hands, did your bones quiver in that moment where pink blended into darkness????????

If you want a pretty picture, a perfect anything, you are boring, very very boring. If you can't see the incredible journey in the oily rag or broken spirit, the joy of doing....then go bloody sit with crack pot ronald in his plastic castle of fake reality, down some gherkin and pretend some more!!!

We artists will enjoy the planting, cooking, the taste of everything....and use are oily rags in the process!!!!

So there.


  1. and in the end everything is nothing, sometimes even well before the end, or at the beginning

    keep dancing

    smile at ducks
    and when all else fails hug your teddy
    or an oily rag

  2. right on sis....or gherkin i think.
    it is all inside outside upside down...
    just write more poetry yes.