Doubt Artist Statements

Nick Lowe

I kind of imagine an art that’s very certain of itself, where the doing of the thing and the thing that is done come together harmoniously and it can’t be anything else than what it is.  I imagine this art being very certain of itself, while at the same time opening up unto a world of unending meaning, questions, uncertainties, and variations on possible misreads.  All of the endless possibilities have been laid out perfectly, in the perfect order, like a long string of precise numbers on a cosmic safe, holding neither gold nor treasure nor maps but deep mystery.  Artists are cosmic safe crackers.  I like to think of those safe crackers in old heist movies spinning around the combination wheel, listening through the steel door with a stethescope, carefully sensitive to both touch and hearing the combination move around beneath a steel door.

Doubt arises when working on an artwork and wondering whether or not to continue on. It springs up when wondering whether or not to continue on being an artist. I want magic to happen and at the same time wanting both feet on the ground existing in a droll reality the color of concrete. Within a work of art, specific parameters can be set to help eliminate doubt.  By breaking up the making of an artwork into small, manageable tasks that can be easily attended to and carried out, doubt can be temporarily avoided for a small period of time.  Drawing out  grids with a ruler and pencil, I occasionally try to create systems and pre-determined methods for making art, but once the system is carried out a few times, I realize how boring creating a system can be, but in this way, doubt can be avoided, at least for a small period of time. Around every corner there is always the temptation to give up and throw in the towel, but giving up is only prevented by uncertainty of what to do once you have given up.   Doubt lies in the starting parameters of a system once that system is carried out.  I think it is most exciting to exist in a fragile world of ethereality, pulling out shapes, marks, scratches and scribbles, erasing them out, and restructuring them slightly askew.  The hard won victories are the ones that are worth winning; the sweetest solution is one that was nowhere in sight; I am in the system but I don’t want to be there.

David Leapman

From a subjective perspective, doubt is a force for good, a necessary ingredient in the making of work. There is a mental and physical space in which a work cannot remain for long. I’m constantly working toward a new boundary, as close to the knife’s edge as possible in an eager attempt to arrive in a new territory of innovation and doubt!  This newness may well lead to doubt because at this moment it is so difficult to tell the difference between success and failure.

Vincent Hawkins

 The film maker Jean Renoir said;
“Well what matters is the action,not the target.Of course one needs general ideas, but they must be so deep-rooted, so profound, that one hardly knows one has them.You have to start out in a certain direction, and keep to it,but in the way that migratory birds follow a line instinctively,without knowledge.  I believe the artist ought to be like that. And then the conscious part of the mind goes into the detail,into action,into doing”.

Patrick Morrissey

My work employs a form of meandering geometry, units that at first glance operate in a wavering formation or ambivalent relationship to each other, never reaching a point of contact. Doubt in this context is the inability of these elements to solidify in a line, a visual polemic or reluctance created by numerical means to dis-associate themselves. Yet this leads ultimately to something greater, a kinetic disturbance that throws up a gradual realisation that there is an on going mass event taking place in the visual field. Vasilation forced into order.

Clive (Hanz) Hancock

Doubt infiltrates perceived order, which in turn is undermined by shifting tonality and gradation of colour that overlays the three dimensional grid of cones and tubes. As subtle changes occur by ones physical relationship to the piece; the appearance initially created by the work changes. The sculptural elements at work demand that the viewer question their comprehension of shifting dynamics, which lend an element of elusiveness, or even intrigue.

Naida Osline

Doubt: Even if you think you know what a word means, when you are asked to respond to a concept with artwork, a starting point is to look up the meaning as defined in language dictionaries.  In doing this exercise regarding doubt, the phrase that most stood out to me was “a deliberate suspension of judgment”.  This strikes me as a very positive idea, the intentional postponement of a fixed opinion or perhaps the entire elimination of a judgmental attitude fostered in our culture.  Once you have judged something, you have categorized and fossilized it.  You have shut down your relationship to it and the universe is a little bit more rigid. Hopefully then, art exists within and encourages a state of doubt.

Max Presneill

Doubt is the default setting requirement of making art.
These paintings attempt to deal with the uncertainty of breaking new ground for oneself and the inherent doubt about ones own choices. There is no roadmap available so every choice is fraught with doubt, every decision uncertain, every selection an existential moment – but don’t let this fool you into thinking that it is fearful or agonizing – it is a joyful, if tiring, adventure and it is the very fluidity of movement into the unknown that makes it such a captivating escapade of discovery.

The presentation within a ‘cloud’ formation allows multiple canvases that act, by the location of their installation and in reference to each other and the sequence of their placement, as extended narratives that are inclusive of source materials taken from autobiographical sources, the Internet, literature and the history of art, amongst other places. They exist in a fluid interchangeable relationship that allows them to be renewed with each showing, to have some removed and some replaced, with no set number of pieces and no continuous ‘members’ within the grouping – in line with changing focal points of interest to the artist, to establish new ways of reading the material thus reflecting ongoing concerns and engagements.

Doug McCulloh

“The idea is a machine that the makes the art,” wrote artist Sol LeWitt.  For this piece, the title is the straightforward blueprint that makes the art: “Google Image Search: ‘Doubt’– Any Size, No Filter.”  This is cameraless photography. It is a meta-photography that takes everything in the world as a potential subject. In fact, the act of the search itself transforms the word “Doubt” into a meta-image comprised of 668 million parts. Jumping one level deeper, a search for “Search” itself generates an image consisting of 30.1 billion parts.  Who needs a camera when Facebook’s servers alone offer up 1.4 million images per second? The Google image world provides a deeply layered, remarkably resonant portrait of every subject imaginable —every place, every culture, every object, every idea.

Jeffrey Dennis

This painting includes a conjunction of objects that resembles the kind of improvised structure I frequently put together in the studio, perhaps to serve a practical function – a ‘rig’ or armature – or to model or test a composition for a painting, and that may be an analogue for the structure of Painting itself. But these ‘doubtful’ structures may be found, once you are alert for them, throughout daily life, where they are often the outcome of an expedient need and limited resources.

Madeleine Strindberg

DOUBT – I find making decisions is the hardest thing in the world – as an artist and as a human being in general. Every step is riddled with uncertainty and doubt –  and it doesn’t get easier – if anything, the opposite. However sometimes, for very short moments, you just get on with it, and become oblivious  and allow for the work to take over your life.

Marsia Alexander-Clarke

DOUBT is a very important ingredient in ART. It injects tension and gives substance to a work of art. The process of overcoming inner-conflict is a way of developing self awareness, and the process of developing self awareness is integral to developing a work of art.
I – oh – uhm – but – but – YES – no – no – not – maybe – but – no – I – uhm – maybe – can – no – no – not – this – maybe – good? – but – yes – strong? – uhm – well – maybe  – true? ….

Claude Heath

All doubt is embedded into underlying beliefs and the most radical forms of doubt must be rejected since they form a contradiction within the system that expressed them. Ask the caterpillar how it is that he manages to walk, and the question is likely to make walking impossible for him. Keats hit the mark when he praised Shakespeare, for being ‘capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.’

Mark Schooley

When asked about having doubts while facing a blank canvas de Kooning replied if he was having trouble getting started, he would take a loaded brush and write the word “ART” in big letters across the canvas, Then he had a start.
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