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Reflection: My journey

Posted on by Ben Hodson

My journey as a creative has led me from being a painter, to a photographer to an artist who uses intervention and social responsibility as a central medium and theme. My practice is fundamentally focused on two concepts: art as intervention, and how creativity can have a positive impact on the world. My primary reason for engaging with the place and subject of Iraq is related to but not solely due to its recent dramatic history. It is creeping off the media’s agenda and we have a responsibility not to forget these people. There are still numerous stories that still need telling. The mainstream media gives us one impression of a place, I have attempted to get behind this and reveal the real people and their stories.

Reflection on art and society

Posted on by Ben Hodson

To measure just the effect art has had on the world, there is a need to remove the surrounding forces, events, political, social and religious contexts.  Once all these variables have been removed, what is left is purely theory.  It is becoming apparent that it is impossible to separate art from its context.  It forces you to no longer look at art as a separate entity, but rather the herald, signaling the need for change.  Or perhaps the cheer leader supporting and even leading the movement of the social and political spheres.  An example of this would be the group of activist students and artists who took up residence in Ecole de Beux Arts in Paris 1968.  The Atelier Populaire (Popular Workshop) was formed and became famous for producing numerous posters which were intended as “weapons in the service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it.” (Atelier Populaire, 1968) Their mandate was to support the large ground swell of social change in France.   Their free posters became “the battle standard” for the masses. Their art did not cause the civil unrest, although they did help to rally support.  

Positive change?

Posted on by Ben Hodson

I run the risk of this being read as a cliché or perhaps naivety or even youthful arrogance. Part of the reason for choosing this topic is to understand if there is some validity in the claim that art can and does play a part in redeeming society.  Through the process of exploring these concepts, I am seeking to either justify this statement or prove it to be wrong.  However, often in exploring these kinds of concepts we find that more questions than answers surface or bombard us. This discussion is no different and questions such as: ‘does society need redeeming?’ and ‘if so from what?’ ‘and who defines it?’ all arise but perhaps as myresearch moves forward I can try to give some ideas to a way forward.