Interview: “Why do you make art?”
“It’s a tough question to answer for most artists because we are so intimately connected to the process of creating that often we think the “why” is obvious. Creating with my hands, making ideas, stories, concepts into tangible forms is really about language. It is my language…the way I express views and observations, without this language of visual art I would be silenced and sad.
I have come to love this language of “art making,” although there is such varied scope on what art making is…I love it because it helps me to break through barriers when trying to convey a message. I find that visual language crosses over barriers such as gender, culture, economic and political views and backgrounds; visual art can leap into any time period and mix the time periods. I can go way into the future or way into the past and express an idea or create an experience for viewers where time does not exist at all. If I was not so inclined to make ideas out of bronze, or clay or metal or whatever material I can, I would wish to be a physicist like Niels Bohr, Galileo, Myriam Sarachik or Vera Cooper Rubin. Contemplating how the universe works and all that is within the universe seems like the ultimate “job” on the planet. I think that is what I am trying to do, trying to enjoy exploring human interactions as well as those of nature and science. I keep asking questions and I’m ever curious.
I think most makers, like myself, can’t sit still. The process of making art is something that calms my senses, takes me into that blissful place we often call NIRVANA. This is a place where my mind, body and spirit are actively connected. The process of research, of learning all I can about my topic, is part of that bliss for me and then comes a time of immersing myself in the process of expression. I’d like to think that someone besides me is benefitting from the finished work. Art for me is about connections on many levels. That is exciting to me. I keep the thought forefront in my mind that someone’s life may be enriched because the work can get stale if I’m not trying to connect with others or and to the environment. Nothing seems to be a valuable pursuit if I’m not considering universal connections.
I guess that making art is also about discovery, discovering what has always existed and bringing some treasure to the surface of our consciousness. Really, it’s a joy to create and I keep asking the powers that be to grant me my wish of being able to do this work as long as possible. Although I have never gone deep sea diving, it must be a similar sensation…to be immersed in a foreign world of water, trying to breath and with each depth of the water, exploring amazing new worlds new levels with small universes that you never knew existed.”
– Rebecca Thompson