Kite Circus' is an exhibition based on ideas surrounding personal identity, and how the fourteen exhibiting artists address them through their formal practices. Definition of the self is a subject well covered in contemporary society. The tide is rightly turning against an idea of prescriptive 'normality' based upon superficial perception of external signifiers, and yet labels, albeit in greater number and variety, remain.
There can be no doubt that we all seek to be seen in as true a manner as possible. We artists often define ourselves in great part through our work - it may well be the thing that gives us our identity - our label - and yet it is also not of us. Our artworks are objects with which we are both intimately connected and essentially separated all at once - perhaps becoming some form of surrogate we present to be judged in our stead. By doing so we may hope to be spared a directly personal criticism to some degree but equally, by presenting the work to the world, we open ourselves up to the possibility of a most intimate and invasive criticism. It is a fragile thing - a contradictory mix of raging egotism, to imagine our work worthy of a public, and crippling self doubt, that we have badly misjudged our own ability. We seek to self define on our own terms as anyone would, and yet we present ourselves to the baying crowd not in the first person, but as the fruits of our most precious creative considerations. And we await a response to the complex, nuanced, deeply personal entertainment we willingly provide, that our public might hoist us up, godlike, to the loftiest height or crush us, frail and feeble, under foot.
We look to address our concerns through our work, but our messages are rarely straightforward. Aside from the unpredictable nature of the creative urge, the ways in which we seek to communicate are intrinsically non-lingual, deeply personal and of our own specific nature. In this exhibition the focus is the formal nature of the works exhibited and the personal aesthetics of the artists involved. The paintings are long considered and crafted with skill and commitment, but rarely will they speak explicitly. Art is often born of an instinctive response - a singular visceral vision rather than a calculated equation - and as such it likely does not lay the answers out neatly for the viewer. Instead, through a genuine commitment to investigation, a purity of practice and a belief in the objects they are creating, artists look to present an honest position. Abstract paintings may not be explicit or easily legible. They may be a step on a journey rather than a final destination, but they are true and real and we stand by them.
Of course we do not suggest that defining oneself as an artist is to in any way assume membership of a marginalised or suffering group. that would be crass indeed. Nevertheless, the creative urge is a strong and fickle master that many of us may feel sets us apart, bringing bitter angst as easily as it might joy. And it is impossible to put into words. There is good reason for the 'suffering artist' stereotype and oftentimes we are slave to the rhythm of the calling. For those who know, the question of why any sane and normal person would put themselves through such an emotional blitzkrieg is senseless. None would, of course, but then, who wants the label "sane and normal" anyway?