Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 - So it Begins.

Requiem for my Brother, 2013
So it is 2013, with the wretched 2012 just now a number that marks a certain space in history. Goodbye, good riddance. 

The Mayans may have been right all along. 2012 was a year of upheaval and of change. But now that we have seen the back end of that we can look ahead with optimism for 2013. A chance to move on, change, be reinvigorated, recharged. 

I am not one for New Years resolutions, as these are too easy to break. However, I do have some New Year 'Aspirations' to ponder.

Aspirations are a good term because you cannot 'break' an aspiration. You can delay an aspiration as they have no set time-frame to achieve.

So, what do I aspire?

1. I aspire to be a better person. Not just for those around me but for myself. I have to look after myself a little better than I did last year. This means fighting depression instead of giving in to it. To maintain my health. Not to be stressed. Not to be bullied. Learn to say 'No' more often.

2. I aspire to reinvigorate my art practice. 2012 was such a shit year that I am surprised that I even created anything at all. My goal (still not a resolution) is to make at least one artwork a week. I know this does not always work out as my art practice is time consuming but by next New Years I have at least 40 new works, I will be happy.

3. I aspire to do more research. As with Aspiration 2, 2012 was really a year of brain deadness. My focus was on other things and reading went out the window. My attention span was so short I couldn't even read a comic. I want to really focus on research and writing for my Master's this year.

As mentioned in my last post, I have a new camera. The first test for this camera was the image above Requiem for my Brother, 2013. This image has been in the planning stages for a while and I felt that I needed to do this. No art history references. This scene depicts the last time I was with my brother, when I found him after he passed away. This scene has been playing around in my head for months so I thought I would get it out of the way and make this my first image for 2013.

On a technical note, the camera (Nikon D800/105mm Micro Nikkor lens) handled the job brilliantly. Giant file size, sharp picture quality, camera worked intuitively in the studio. Fantastic. 

The Mayans were right. My Arcadian life ended in 2012 with the untimely death of my mother and brother in such a small space of time. In 2013 I have regenerated into a different man, different sensibilities, a different outlook. I guess in some ways this will make me a different artist- we will have to wait and see. However, I am still and will ever always be a 'mad man with a box' - and that will never change.


  1. I like your distinction between resolutions and aspirations, Neale. Re-solutions suggest a re-solving of problems, which, if they need to be re-solved, were never really solved in the first place. The word 'aspiration', on the other hand, has as its derivation the Latin 'aspirer' meaning 'breathe'. There is space to breathe within an aspiration, to take a deep breath or to hold it if necessary. Your aspirations are admirable and this first image for the new year is deeply touching. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the adventures of the mad man with a box through the coming months.

    1. Thank you very much Caitilin. I do see this as a new year of change, a year to move on. 2012 was a 'annus horribilis' for myself and many others. Hopefully through my art I will make some sense of it, to put the year into perspective and context. I hope your 2013 is an 'annus mirabilis', a year that you can look back with happiness and joy.