Joan Skelton Smith, Bough (2009)
I think of myself as a humanist, an artist whose practice is fully engaged in the real world. I see my studio practice as a way of trying to come to terms with that reality and as a vehicle to share my response with others. I grew up in the Cold War world of the Cuban missile crisis, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War and the Nixon impeachment. As a child I would climb up into the tree tops seeking a refuge and a sanctuary. Since the end of the Cold War, I have watched the world descend into political, economic and environmental chaos. I see the natural world which I always believed would persevere threatened by man's actions.
Many wonder what the role of an artist is in such circumstances.
I believe that we cannot depend on 'those who are supposed to take care of us'. I believe that we each have to take some personal responsibility by doing whatever we can. I want to create strong, powerful images which will have an emotional and physical effect on the viewer. I hope that my work can in some way make viewers more aware of their place as part of the natural world.
As for career aspirations, if I were to create one work of art that went on to inform future generations about life in our contemporary world, I feel that would be a considerable accomplishment. I believe that an individual's experiences have universal meaning. I feel that primary sources such as diaries, letters and works of art are one of the most valuable parts of the historical record; I hope to make a contribution to that record.
Joan Skelton Smith's conversations and interactions