My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Monday, August 22, 2011

To utter the unutterable…

My diary pages from England dwelt mainly on my working methods as a sculptor.  The pages followed work in progress, in logical sequence, one day to the next.   This time around, it’s a different kettle of fish.

When working on my figures and portraits, I try to get down to the naked soul.  In a similar way, I want these diary pages to say something about the whole business of creating a work of art. 

Today, while glancing through my copy of  Byron’s love poems, I found that years ago I had marked a page with a copy of a poem by James Kirkup.   It is titled The Poet but the sentiments could equally apply to all who toil upon the forge of art.

Each instant of his life, a task, he never rests,
And works most when he appears to be doing nothing.
The least of it is putting down the words,
What usually remains unwritten and unspoken,
And would so often be better left
Unsaid, for it is really the unspeakable
That he must try to give an ordinary tongue to.

And if, by art and accident,
He utters the unutterable, then
It must appear as natural as breath,
Yet be an inspiration.  And he must go,
The lonelier for his unwanted miracle,
His singular way, a gentle lunatic at large
In the societies of cross and reasonable men.

How do I find a picture to illustrate today’s entry?  Equally by chance, I stumbled across a faded black and white photograph taken in the UK studio when working on one of my controversial NHS figures.  With the dedicated help of Ganeen, my model, I tried to utter the unutterable.

1 comment:

  1. Although I have always known of James Kikup, this poem is new to me, so thank you for bringing to my attention. I may have to add it to my ‘commonplace book’. Your photograph, illustrates it beautifully.