On the importance of the everyday
Whatever happens 'out there', we still mostly just live our lives in tiny incremental steps even during times of global crisis.
The everyday matters. The everyday shows us that nothing is certain, clear, unambiguous, capable of perfect categorisation and labelling. The everyday is about ambiguity, ambivalence, uncertainty, chance, individuals marking their passage through life in their own way unnoticed and unmediated by commentators anxious to identify only the big stuff for classification and boxing up for easy consumption.
The everyday is an endless source of fascination and discovery and grounding. It's our lived life. Our reality.
In some ways, my attempts to pinpoint these ordinary moments (what happens when nothing happens as Georges Perec would put it) are oddly futile. The very act of noticing and recording the things we normally overlook in our daily lives paradoxically renders them extraordinary and often absurd.
I like to think I have a methodology. It mainly involves wandering for hours on foot, immersing myself in sub/urban ‘edgelands” and nameless bits of nowhere. I walk anywhere: locally around my house and the environs of Leeds; London and Paris suburbs; and off the beaten track abroad whenever I get the opportunity.
I'm also interested in the way that experiencing ordinariness is affected by our sense of identity and place. Geographical space is informed by psychological 'space' in turn influenced by cultural and experiential notions, perceptions and assumptions about things. I'm often overtaken by a sudden feeling of dissonance when the familiar suddenly seems unfamiliar despite its everyday-ness.
I often mix media, and painting and collage. Partly it allows for a constant changing of visual vocabulary to express a perpetual shifting response to any given subject. But partly too it's an art form with disparate elements, and so defies society’s obsession with categorising the world, identity and place of the individual.
...the critique of everyday life turns and accuses history insofar as it is a mere series of faits accomplis and insofar as it is history which has reduced the everyday to the state in which we find it...
...the everyday exists through the practices that constitute it, the ways in which time and space are appropriated by human subjects and converted into physical traces, narratives and histories...