Friday, November 13, 2015

Being Censored

It has been some months since I had the opportunity to do a workshop with Kendal Henry - Director of Public Art in New York. We were asked to stretch our practice and come up with an idea for an artwork around 'The Game/The Carnival' and whatever that meant to us. This artwork would then be displayed during Avalon Art Carnival/The Game from the 7th till the 21st of November. I had one on one sessions with Kendal and the other curators and the artworks went through a lengthy process of approval including Council. I had applied for a spot along a large wall which seemed perfect. Unfortunately there were issues with that wall and the proposed position of my artwork ended up changing location a few times. Due to time constraints I had no choice but to start making my piece or it would not be done in time. The final location was not my choice but in the end time was running out.
I was encouraged to install my work after hours guerilla style. It was attached to a wall in between two banks. As Im sure you can appreciate I have put a lot of time and energy into creating this piece. The artwork is called 'Game Face' and explores the positive and negative in video gaming. On the wall next to my work there is a blurb explaining 'Game Face' and its purpose. At no time was my intention to offend but to make what seems like an obvious statement about video gaming (that is so addictive and so prevalent) in an artistic way. Yesterday I was informed that the manager of one of the banks had complained about my work. Apparently its not the manager who cares but the customers. It was suggested that I put a cross over the gun and the grenade to show the fact that it is anti-violence but that was rejected by the bank manager. Tonight the weapon images will be completely covered while I head off this weekend and run a workshop. The locals and many visitors have already seen the artwork and will know that it has been censored. There are many things in life I am offended by - rape, war, murder of innocent people but a painting of a gun or grenade personally wouldnt make my top 10.
I would like to thank my friends who have supported my work and shared the pictures on facebook, even congratulating me for making people think and provoking reactions.

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