Marijo Swick

I Feel Crowded
© 2018 Marijo Swick

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I want to communicate; but dialogue is a mutable thing. It changes continuously. One doesn’t stick to a formula in conversation. Instead one allows it to bloom and take on a life of its own. At the end of a good conversation you may have discussed one topic or several, but you feel like something has been shared. Not necessarily changing points if view, but that ideas are expressed freely and without fear.
In conversation the topic may change, ideas flow from one to the next - sometimes in a seemingly random fashion but when you observe the whole, you can see how one idea gave birth to another. My art is like dialogue in that I let ideas flow and I work on whatever comes into my mind. I do not limit myself to dealing with only this or that. Similarly with materials. In the end they all relate to each other as an example of the thinking process. One wouldn’t build a house or a car out of the same materials or using the same methods. I enjoy handling materials - different materials. I don’t feel the need to limit myself to a particular medium because “this is what I work in”, when a different medium would be better suited to the idea in my head. One has to do what is best for the work, and if that requires my learning how to make paper, for example, then I research how to make paper and I do it. Or soldering, or any other process. It’s in large measure why I work. Like dialogue, it’s the process. The act of doing it, that is engaging. Enjoying it while you are working. Enjoying handling the materials. The taste, the smell, the tactile sensations; engaging all your senses while working. If you have enjoyed the process - it shows. One’s work whether building a house, a car or making art, shows when you enjoy what you do, regardless of the subject matter.
Exploration of process compells me. To write a letter to my mom, I would use a pen and paper, but if I were trying to do something else I might use a stick and wax or mud. It all depends on what you are trying to say. Process is important. It should enhance the final piece and leave the viewer with the feeling that this is how it should be. That the artist considered the content, context and all the ideas about the work before and during its creation. That the artist chose the best way to express their ideas. That it all matters. It all has to work together - like conversation. If one person does all the talking and doesn’t pay attention to what is going on around them, the conversation will be over quickly. You have to observe what is happening around you. You add and subtract from the work, not always certain of the final results, willing to explore the possibilities, but knowing that the original idea gave birth to it.
I express my thoughts. Things that go on in my head, honestly and with as little censorship as possible. Even those dark thoughts we do not want to admit thinking about, but do. What would happen if we all felt we could really express ourselves, honestly without fear of reprisal or judgment? What if we could recognize them as just thoughts that occur and not necessarily manifest themselves simply because we think them. That we all have moments of dark thoughts. And it is ok to have them once in a while. Acting on a thought and having a thought are two very different things. We need to learn that.
The idea of humanity and what that means strikes a strong chord with me. From science to theology. All the conflicting and similar ideas. I want to use science and theology on equal terms. To discover how they can coexist in this world so full of dichotomies. From the time we are small we have to deal with holding seemingly conflicting ideas in our heads. Some of us have more difficulty balancing these ideas, thinking that we have to have one at the expense of the other. They are fearful of losing control. Yet I think people are beginning to realize that we can coexist with both ideas. That somehow we have to reconcile theology and science as two side of the same coin. And that believing in one does not have to be at the expense of the other. Conflicting ideas can coexist. They are just ideas. Both can be valid in their own way. That’s the problem - the need to be the “right” one. As if people’s need for spirituality would go away if science could prove all it’s theories or vice versa. We need both. Proof of how things work in the world and metaphor to feed the poet inside us. We too often confuse fact with metaphor. Both are important and have their place - their way of informing society. Our culture needs both. This too is part of the process. Dealing with and thinking about the things that as humans make us tick.
Studios of Marijo Swick

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