If you have read my bio, you will see the following statement about me“An artist who is inspired by the inner recesses of her being”..
I am acutely aware of the fact that I have not been that person in my work since before I was consciously producing work for the public…
A conversation with a lawyer friend of mine reminded me of something I have had at the back of my mind since I started producing art for public consumption. In some ways, I have become a self censoring artist. I don’t live under a dictatorship that demands censorship of its citizens. I live in a capitalist society that believes in freedom of speech. A society where racist buffoons are allowed a public forum on national television to voice their beliefs. There is no dictator that says that I can’t paint naked women if I want to, or reverse the skin colours of noted icons. There are films and video games out there depicting extreme violence and sex which appeal to the most depraved element of our psyche as human beings. Yet, I am guilty of self censorship.
I have wanted to express the dark desires that pervade my soul. I have wanted to express more than conscious controlled thoughts about society’s ills and let people see the real me, but some THING constantly holds me back.
What is that THING? The self censorship THING. IT is a disease that is eating up my creativity. I feel the need to exorcise IT. To cut IT out like one would cut out cancer. To irradiate IT and blast IT into non existence. But then, I might do my OCD thing and literally vomit everything that comes to mind with no sense of inhibition onto the canvas. Constantly spewing out all of the nasty, crude, vulgar and sick things that come to mind and that I suppress as well as the beautiful touching things that make me feel alive. Would that lead to a great piece of art, or just a vulgar expression of basic human emotion that no one wants to be confronted with, lest they confront themselves?
I have no problem expressing my emotions, my thoughts and feelings. I can do that when I want to and quite eloquently if I may say so. But something stops me from doing this in public. I feel like I need to do something about it before it destroys my creativity. I need to be more intuitive in my work. I want people to feel me when they see my work, I need that to be the case, so I have to let go.
But then are the public not sick and tired of people doing this? Putting everything out there for the whole world to see? Are we not all bored of those tired celebs constantly splashing their private lives every where? I dare say, a lot of us are, but never the less, we devour all of that media information and juicy gossip with voracious appetites. But then, I am not a celebrity. I don’t feel like confessing the particulars of my private life in a tell all interview with OK magazine. I just want to express myself through my work. That’s what artists do is it not… Unless you are Damien Hirst or Tracey Emin, very few artists are seen as celebrities. Expressing one self in art is not quite the same as confessing dirty secrets to a tabloid magazine. It is not tacky like that is it.
So why do I do it?
Maybe its because I went to Catholic school? Maybe it was the early Jehovah s witness teachings of my Mother and her sisters? Maybe it is the total respect I have for my parents, and a fear of offending them, even as an independent grown woman. Maybe it is a combination of things. Maybe it is just who I am.
In my next piece, I will dig deeper than I ever have before. I will stay honest and true to what I see when I meditate and go deep into my subconscious and truly express those things to the best of my ability. I will try and show you those things in my work simply because that need has always been there, and that need has to be satisfied. It has been a long time coming…
No more carefulness for me in my art.
5 replies
  1. khat-fish
    khat-fish says:

    Good luck! I hope this honesty opens up many avenues of creativity.

    I’ve seen artists who, once they’ve purged the deep, dark stuff no-one wants to be confronted with, are able to then create the most amazing things. It’s a process.

  2. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    As a photographer, I feel the same pressures. When I choose a shot, who am I trying to please? Me? Potential buyers? Am I trying to be too PC? Or the opposite, am I trying to shock for the sake of shocking? Do I unconsciously find cliches, or do I avoid good shots because they look like cliches? We’re social creatures, and so we’re constantly aware of how our actions might be viewed by other people. As artists we try to be pure, but there’s no such thing – everything has a context. Part of the road to producing good art is to stop censoring ourselves and doing what we really want to do – which requires self-knowledge.

  3. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hello. I am currently srudying your work as part of my A Level art, looking at abuse. I find your work inspiring and fascinating. I was just wondering what art movement you are from? Many thanks.

  4. Adelaide Damoah
    Adelaide Damoah says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    Thank you for your interest. It is very humbling.

    I am not from any particular art movement. I don’t belong to any particular school of thought or philosophy on art. I just do my own thing, while observing, respecting and ultimately being influenced positively by other artists in my periphery.

    I do not feel like I belong to or want to belong to any contemporary art movement. I am naturally influenced by others that I admire and by experiences. Whether it is the “Stuckists” or the “Brit artists” or the “Neo pop artists,” there is some piece of art, or someone that I admire from each group which may or may not influence my work now or in the future.

    @ Jerry, agreed, thank you. Self awareness is key.

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