I. Self.

A journey

Artist | Theatre-Maker | Photographer.

“to know oneself’

The first words are the most important. They grab the attention, layout the landscape, expose the vision and define the argument.

They are all inside. These theorists, writers, artists, playwrights, poets, makers, creators, photographers, painters, actors, directors, sculptors, drinkers and spiritualists. Have I left anyone out? Their words, thoughts, actions: all consumed, analysed, picked at, through a life of making and living. From the past to the present.

Do I define myself in the smoke of a cigarette? A moment to breathe and be.

Underneath their creativity is a passion to ask and challenge conventions. To confront: how you feel, what you think, who you are.

Where do you begin with knowing yourself? The child you once were? The growing teenager? The mature adult? The ageing person? Are you more Freud or Klein in your thinking? Where is your idea of self and others? Are your concepts feminist, wave 1, 2, 3 or 4? Are your thoughts wrapped around romantic ideals or do you live in a post-truth modern world, scratching the surface for a utopia?

The self begins with yourself. The question may be to ask, which self is asking the question. When you stand there, in front of the mirror, who exactly is looking back. The other. A new identity, a re-discovered memory, or a lost person. When you dream, is it your unconscious repressed mind speaking out loud, or fantasies just wanting to be played out.

With the words in front as I analyse the page, do I look for the space that is in between? What is spoken and what is not. Are your actions in contradiction with how you act? Is your life ruined in the moment of sipping a cup of tea?

Inside me, all these people, words, and thoughts live, and I want them out. I want them replaced with my own. Do I think this is rational? I want to scrap at my insides, as I feel that when I speak I am not speaking myself. For myself. I am speaking for others. From others.

To know yourself is to know your mind. As you look at that mirror.

“I feel I know”. A Russian director told me that once. The four most important words to an actor. As you stand on that stage, in front of the world, the character slightly in front, you behind, exposed, open, aware. Don’t lose yourself in oneself.

Be present and in the now.

It is the tension, that I love, as I draw on this cigarette. The irony of the moment, the self-assessment, and the movement to a realisation of now. As I breathe this smoke inside, I have a concept of myself. A parenthesis of thought, a clarity, a shift in feelings and understandings. This tension, juxtaposition, conflict. An impact.

You are wrapped in concepts, ideas, conceits, illusions, semiotics and metaphors. These words and sentences tumble and fall in on themselves. It is there, that discovery is made, that the creativity you seek is just at the edge of your mind.

You can’t know yourself.

All you can know is what has brought you to this moment.