Why do you make art?

When we interview RWA Academicians on The Floating Circle, one of the questions we ask is the deceptively simple: ‘Why do you make art?’

To make it extra-challenging, we also request that they limit their answers to one sentence. Here are some of those answers – and click the images to read the full interviews.

 

Many of the Academicians featured in this post will be contributing works to the RWA’s much-loved Secret Postcard exhibition – which for 2020 is online only, from 15-25 June. Find out more here about how you could pick up a great artwork for as little as £40 – and sign up to the RWA newsletter for the latest updates.

 

Sarah Dudman

 

Because it helps me understand and make sense of the environment I inhabit and the relationships between the different aspects. I feel immense joy from being able to develop my own visual language to interpret and present these experiences and analyses to others. Sara Dudman RWA

 


 

Stephen Jacobson

 

I like the idea that someone once said of my work, ‘You are looking for Paradise on Earth’. Stephen Jacobson PVPRWA 

 


 

Stewart Geddes

 

It’s an inner need. A simple yet profound correspondence with myself. Besides I’m dyslexic, so I’ve always preferred ‘looking at the pictures’. Stewart Geddes PPRWA

 


 

Dallas Collins

 

I can’t imagine not making art; It’s a childlike feeling of comfort that lies in between thinking and not thinking and never leaves you alone even if you are asleep. Dallas Collins RWA

 


 

Malcolm Ashman

 

I was four years old, I was drawing and getting cross with it. I remember thinking I must get this right… I’m still trying to get it right. Malcolm Ashman RWA 

 


 

Sandra Porter

 

It’s easier to say that if I don’t I am very twitchy and unsettled. When I do, I know I am at one with the world. Sandra Porter RWA 

 

 


 

Lucy Austin

 

I’m someone who has a brain which skips about and making art really helps focus me and it has become essential to make. Lucy Austin RWA 

 


 

Fiona Robinson (Photo Credit by Andy Whale)

 

I make art because I need to! Fiona Robinson PRWA 

 


 

Peter Ford

 

 Accepting the idea that some of what I make is art, I keep doing it because I am driven to make art objects whilst being fully aware that there is no rational reason to produce more and I am also aware that I would be much more difficult to live with if I did not continue to use my thoughts and energies in this way. (Rationality and reason are not needed when launching into an art venture.) Peter Ford RWA

 


 

Wendy Elia (Photo by Dominic Harris)

 

I wish I knew!!!! Wendy Elia RWA

 


 

Paul Thirkell

 

To see a thought take form in a way that captures – for me (and hopefully others) – the essence of the tiny electrical impulse that initiated the journey in the first place. Paul Thirkell RWA

 


 

Leslie Glenn Damhus (Photo by Rob Irving)

 

On one hand I’m trying to express ideas that are important to me: a sense of sacredness, my passion for how women are portrayed in historical paintings, and on the other hand I’m trying to communicate some relief from the everyday complexities of life for others to grab a moment of contemplation, and hopefully a smile. Leslie Glenn Damhus RWA

 


 

Rosalind Robinson receiving the ‘The Artist’ Editor’s Choice Award at the SWA Annual Open from Princess Michael of Kent in September 2018

 

Francis Bacon said he painted to distract himself from the utter futility of life. Perhaps he had a point, but I paint in a determined attempt to make sense of my existence. Rosalind Robinson RWA

 


 

Ros Ford (Photo by Leonie Bradley)

 

My life would be empty without it. Ros Ford VPRWA

 

Many of the Academicians featured in this post will be contributing words to the RWA’s much-loved Secret Postcard exhibition – which for 2020 is online only, from 15-25 June. Find out more here about how you could pick up a great artwork for as little as £40 – and sign up to the RWA newsletter for the latest updates.

 


 

The Friends of the RWA is an independent charity that supports the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol’s first art gallery. 
For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.

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