The Group Letter – June 2012: The Talkative Search

by Geoff Hall on June 29, 2012

June, 2012.  The Talkative Search


Mentoring support for word, image and performance arts

So, we’ve reached half way for the year 2012. How has it been for you?

Realising your potential? Disappointed spiritually, with the art world, your agent, the response to your latest show? Exhilarated by people’s generosity and kindness? All of those things? Wow, then you’ve had a busy year so far!


Life is so variable isn’t it? At one moment you are on top of the mountain and the next people have lowered you into a pit and are throwing rocks at you, because of your artistic sins. If those stones are hurtling towards you, don’t duck; it suggests repentance, that your conviction has wavered, that your critics are right. Stand there in defiance (not a sin), confident of what you’ve created, that you have been carried by the wind of which no one knows where it has come from, or where it is going.


If you are disappointed then you have a lot to talk about, if you’ve found what you are looking for, are satisfied (satisfaction is not a sin), then you may be silent for a while, for contentment breeds silence.


I was reading an old edition of ‘Modern Painters’ (Autumn, 1994) and in it there is an interview by David Bowie with the painter Balthus. Now Balthus disturbs me, but Bowie doesn’t! Here’s a little quote:


Balthus: And you see I am an eager reader of Saint Augustine.

Bowie: What? The Confessions?…

Balthus: I found a sentence which I adored, which I think is very well put on modern art. “The search is more talkative than the finding.


If we can reflect on such difficult times and start creating from the question rather than from the answer then we may find that our life, our work resonates with others, that their imagination is captivated, their spirit stirred to consider being part of the conversation, for conversations which start with the answer are generally ill-mannered and assume two things. The searching is over and that others shouldn’t bother with it. All they need is to talk with you!


Whatever the medium of our calling, our madness, our compulsion, may it always start well-mannered, with humility, allowing others to venture forward in their search for something more than they have, because your work has led them thus.


Peace and Love,



Geof you’ve hit it on the head. Something that frustrates me in many artist’s practice working with the obvious, not traveling with & exploring the questions & thus not inspiring the viewer into thinking…..

by Sally Kidall on June 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm. Reply #

Hi Sally,
Yes, we need to learn to ‘travel’ with people and not provide them with a route map for their own journey and then clear off.
I think part of it is the superficiality with which our spirituality is taught these days; it all appears self-serving and self-ish and we don’t want to travel over difficult terrain. The artist is also at fault, who only provides a way of escaping reality and not providing sustenance for the journey with others, for the Wilderness and the Desert of the Real!!


by Geoff Hall on June 29, 2012 at 10:47 pm. Reply #

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