War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

on art and possession

close to 100,000 hits and gaining more readers all the time despite the fact I’m no longer “in the field”, I’m curious to know why people are still interested in reading my sketchbook. because that’s all this is, an unedited, sloppily punctuated, sketchbook of thoughts, observations, lines of poetry and prose (the badly written outweighing the well written by about a thousand to one!), a semi-diary to help me with my book, my Requiem, my play.

and why am I still writing and still allowing others to roam through this privately owned territory which exposes my half-cooked ideas, my sloppy writing, my “electronic impulses” (as I wrote in the sonnet To Young Infantrymen Training for Afghanistan)? my website which by the way, is totally paid for by myself with ABSOLUTELY no funding from any organization, nor company nor private patron. no sponsors. no censors.

I do so for a few reasons… I guess I have a bit of a “right to roam” mentality about art. “Right to Roam” is the law in the U.K. whereby a hiker may go anywhere he or she pleases (i.e. on private property) as long as they don’t stop for long, only walked perimeters, or didn’t do damage to the property. when I lived in Scotland I used to do a lot of serious hill walking and tackled a few Munros. sometimes we had to cross farmland in order to get onto public footpaths. most often that was fairly straightforward. but sometimes there was a bull in the pasture or an overzealous farmyard dog. one just took care and gently walked the edge of the field, was respectful of the landowner and made one’s way to the destination.

well you know, for some reason people think that because they’re allowed into the “private property” of an artist’s work that they can dictate what the artist may or may not paint, write, dance… and all of us who work as artists have experienced this phenomena of someone trying to shut us down. usually it’s when the work triggers something within the viewer/reader, something unpleasant. because when our work triggers the pleasant, we are celebrated… and personally, I think that’s a sign of one’s work actually hitting the mark. art is not meant for just pretty. just comfortable.

I remember the In Arms performance we did in Nov. 2010. the audience wept. the audience laughed. the audience was stunned. by our words and our music. we did our job.

so why then are you reading this I’d like to ask those who are made uncomfortable by my words. just because the front door to my studio is unlocked. doesn’t mean any one is forcing you to come in.

just a thought.


About This Page

The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled on art and possession. It was posted here on January 03, 2012.

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