In one weeks time I leave home to make the 325 kilometre (200 mile) road trip, up to Burnie in the North West of the state. I will be firing the kiln today and as per usual I am skating very close to the edge. One toss of the coin and all is well or all is lost. I am a gambler as well as an artist. But I am not gambling with games of chance, I am gambling with my own technical veracity and offering up a prayer to the kiln Gods at the same time. It is always all or nothing with me. I have back up work I can put in the exhibition if the firing is a disaster but the main body of work is in the kiln right now and I will not know until Sunday if it has been a success or not.
And this suits me, it suits how I work and it suits my personality.
This is the artist statement that I have decided to use, new readers can read the first draft here. I decided to go with this statement and to add the stories about the cigarette lighters and the Albatross to my canvas.
Fired up Kim Foale
My name is Kim Foale and I am a storyteller. In ages past we would have sat around the fire together and I would have woven a tale to suit the times. In this second decade of the twenty first century my tale is one of anger, despair, inertia, and ultimately hope.
3.2 million pieces of plastic enter the world’s oceans every day and if I think too deeply about the massive amount of plastic pollution slowly choking our oceans to death I am filled with anger and despair.
If I read the scientific data about mercury toxicity levels in seabirds, the rapidly accelerating rate of extinctions in Australia, the impact of climate change and the inertia of our leaders, I become overwhelmed and gripped by inertia.
So I think instead of the immortal words of Samwise Gamgee in the film version of Lord of the Rings. When all looked to be lost, Samwise said, “There is always hope Mr Frodo, there is always hope.”
As an artist I take my inspiration where I can get it and I firmly believe that there is always hope.
I hope that when you look at my work and you read the story on my canvas, of the cigarette lighters and dead Albatross chicks, that you don’t walk away, but that you pick up a touchstone and decide that you can help. I hope that when you see the oiled bird bowl and the ceramic eggs that you decide to think about your own plastic consumption. I hope that when you see the photos of the plastic pollution that you will feel not despair, but determination that you can make a difference as well.
I hope that you decide as I have, that one person can save the planet.
So there you go my lovelies, I hope the Lord of the Rings reference isn’t too silly but that line in the film really did touch me. It was only a few weeks after Mum had died and David and I were having a LOTR movie marathon together, we were watching the DVD’s Mum had given Dave and when Sam told Frodo that there was always hope and they continued to climb the mountain I cried. I cried for my mum but mostly I cried for myself and for weeks afterwards I would whisper to myself in an atrocious accent, there is always hope Mr Frodo and I would just keep on putting one foot in front of the other.
Now I need to go and glaze the last few pieces and cram them into the kiln.
The edge, I am skating on it.