Artists are often asked about their source of inspiration, often, the response is to make a detailed, wordy and esoteric artists' statement or else something along the lines of 'the world around me' (a response I tend to favour!) Neither go to the heart of what can explain the source of an artists' inspiration.
I often think it's a collecting thing. We collect ideas, words, pictures, swatches, anything and everything. There's nothing so dangerous as an artist with scissors! But it's also drawing, writing, generally recording something that you like. As we collect they link. They link our personality, our current interest, the idea that's been sitting at the back of our mind.
We go look at other artists': friends we admire, great artists that appear at our galleries...don't forget Monet at the NGV....but it's not to copy them, it's to take on more information. Colour, technique, subject and what we dislike, all come together.....eventually.
As I'm coming to the end of my month of being an artist in residence at the Yarra Sculpture Gallery I've been thinking about the artists that might be called influences, except I don't quite think of them as influences, more as supports. Often the renowned artists give us permission to do the outrageous, because they are more so. They allow us to use materials or work in a way that is odd, because they do. So, to that I give you:
Fiona Hall, she's currently showing at the Heidi Museum of Art and is well worth seeing. She often works with textiles in a very political way. I've known about her and seen pictures of her work, but this is the first time I've seen it in the flesh! It is quite overwhelming and I must admit to not feeling very comfortable with the exhibition. This may be what she wants as there are some very strong messages. It's good to be challenged.
Another artist who always crops up is Andy Goldsworthy, Melbourne currently has two on Herring Island, where, during the summer you can catch a ferry onto this man made island in the middle of the Yarra in the heart of the city. There's also a gallery there!
I've obviously picked out works that directly relate to my own current interest in the building of nests. I don't want to copy, just that other artists think nests are important too!