Interrelation is in itself a form of conflict. Managing conflict often sees the ambition of resolution - this word is often used on a political stage - "to resolve our differences". I wonder always how studio work relates to the wider world and never see it in terms of specific subject matter or imagery - trying to paint something that is going on in the faint hope that this is making art that is a some way relevant to society - No, better to question the fundamentals of one's language and through those discoveries, clear parallels and extensions to 'real life' emerge. It is what led Pollock to say (not in an arrogant way as is sometimes reported) "I am nature".
I find myself seeking out conflict in the studio. A novice tries to resolve these conflicts from the off, whereas experience informs a different take on it. It is not about trying to resolve or halt conflict, but to deflect it, so that it ricochets on with impetus to a positive conclusion or new state or existence. Maybe it is in our very nature to live with conflict and therefore to seek it in different measures. This can lead to disaster destruction at worse. Our lives are scarred by these, yet it doesn't go away. It is crass to use terms like evil as if some force exists outside our natures that we are slaves to. If we face up to the fact that we all have the desire for conflict in us - it informs and impels our very humanity. Managing and coping with this though is the challenge, so anger does not control and a sort of civility prevails. Conflict has energy and we should try to harness that in some form. Art has always provided a release valve for this. Cezanne says all lies in the contrast - the balancing of conflict. You see that friction and awkwardness in his paintings which just about reaches a stillness, yet the crackle of conflict exists. It creates a work that has beauty because it is a work of art first. I am more convinced that a work of art must deal with conflict.
Dealing with a friction of surface and colour is becoming more of an urgent concern for me. I feel impelled to set colours down or use angles that tip and destabilise the picture - to oppose rather than compose. I do not see balancing as a form of resolution which to my mind means a 'ridding' of.
What link then with the politics of life? Maybe the competing forces of trade, religion, sport are a heartbeat away from war, but they could equally be a heartbeat from peace whilst still in evidence, not resolved just accepted , deflected to something else, something useful. Maybe that focus would serve us better than the ambition to resolve in ways that remove this conflict.