While this article relates to art I have seen the principles spoken about apply to everything in life and all disciplines. Whether we acknowledge it or not we live our beliefs. It is a primal manifestation. The deepest beliefs are so entrenched within us that they tend to exist almost invisibly. The repetitive thoughts that churn in our awareness tend to grab our attention and day by day ask us to expend our primary energy there. But just underneath that chatter reside our core beliefs that have the power to open and close doors in our lives. To imprison us or to set us free.
Many will say, ‘I am well aware of my beliefs and I have a good grasp on who I am.’ On the surface this sounds like a good state of mind. In my view, this is the place most of society lives and is comfortable with. Open mindedness and entertaining the thought that maybe there is more than meets the eye might be a place worth considering. A place of ‘I don’t know’.
We enter the world with no beliefs and then begin the process of being cared for. Being cared for opens us to both subliminal and overt messages that are absorbed within us as our very existence depends on it. On our first breath we begin the road of adopting beliefs at such an existential level that as we mature we lose awareness of these because they intrinsically shaped who we think we are. I have found that these beliefs, despite not being in my best interest many times, I defend to the death unconsciously because that is who I think I am and how I was raised.
Choosing to be an artist or whatever it is you are driven to do confronts the status quo within us and the challenge begins. My drive to want to create powered me through self- doubt, insecurity, limiting views of myself and the need for acceptance. The pain of questioning myself and the discomfort of open-mindedness was secondary to this other force that pushed me forward both out of necessity and want.
I struggled in the studio for 15 years before I dared to venture out and entered an international competition that took me 3 years of submission and rejection to finally be accepted in. My discontent pushed me to try. I opened myself to rejection knowing that acceptance couldn’t come unless I did. From that decision I was invited into a major exhibition in NYC that I had always dreamed about being in. From there I was acquired into the National Gallery and one day I realized my beliefs about myself had changed without me even knowing it.
Experience has shown me that true change cannot be constructed. It comes from open-mindedness and the willingness to take another look at oneself when life says it is time. The scenarios that have changed me have come when I least expected. I resist change as hard as I can most times so it is only when something larger than me steps in and I seemingly have no choice that I grow. I know a few things for certain. I can do some things today that I wouldn’t have thought possible before. I know there is a force that pushes us through adversity and change despite our discomfort. I am certain that anything is possible when we take seemingly insignificant moves towards what we want.
It does seem apparent it takes a lifetime to grasp what our beliefs are and to allow that something to shape them into better things for us. I no longer worry about changing myself. Art has been my vehicle to self- awareness. I grow when I least expect it and despite all my efforts to resist it still happens thankfully.
image: Italian artist, Edoardo Tresold
wire mesh is the main material: this work is amazing and check out the link to his site…very cool concepts and execution