Silas Plum continues his interview this week describing his connection to his art, and his intentions with it.
Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment, whether it was figuring out your style, your message, etc.? If so, what was it?
I can’t say that there is a single Archimedes-in-the-bathtub Eureka moment that defines every subsequent moment. There are, during good stretches of good days, many small moments with this character. I work, for better and worse, in an archaeological style. That is, discovery as opposed to manufacturing. Rarely do I enter into a project with hyper-specificity. This exploration lends itself to, pleased sounds as the palette, meaning, and mechanical processes all converge. That said, when I find the connective tissue between several works, or finally discern the subconscious drive and motive behind a full season of creation, I do tend to make a loud and joyful noise.
What is your emotional connection to your art?
There are many honest, contradictory answers here. First, my emotional connection to my art is total. I don’t have the impulse or energy for ironic detachment anymore. The world is on fire, after all. Sincerity is inescapable. Secondly, this connection, while total, changes its nature from piece to piece to piece, as well as over time. Some grow. Some decay. It’s a dynamic relationship. Thirdly, and most importantly is a sense of gratitude. Art, or any act of creation, is an inherently generous process. It draws you forward. It accepts your ideas. It can alchemize fear or anxiety into something beautiful. Even on days when the well is pretty dry, it’s hard to not be thankful for that opportunity.
Do you have any specific intentions for the viewers of your art?
In short, what I intend to present is my truth; what you take from it is yours. Both are equally valid. With that in mind it’s hard to have any specific intentions for the audience. My general intention is easier to speak to. I’d like to spark some sense of curiosity. I’d like to find some resonance. With the more abstract pieces, there is a desire to engage in some emotional telepathy. The intent to translate Fear, or Contentment, or Peace, or Sorrow into a visual language. Ideally, the viewer is an active observer. Rather than a simple passive recognition of the subject (blue, dog, war, sunset), the viewer is compelled to engage actively. The work calls something forth. The viewer responds.