The process of realising a piece of art is for the artist a both a very private and public journey. To know what it is that you want to do or make can be one of the toughest choices, many artists are good at several ways of expressing themselves visually, so from diversity one must choose direction. Its fortunate if it just evolves for you but more often it has to be an active and informed choice, that is, you have to take stock and look for connections following through your work, recurring themes and for a time those connections haven't had time yet to develop or be seen so there is a period of trying and trying lots of things or a sense of 'lack' of direction even though you have to produce work in order to retrospectively see where connections are made. You have to have faith in yourself and your work as one entity.
In my limited experience so far of public art this is a real challenge. Every part of the process from concept to physical piece you are required to justify, sometimes even pushed to fight for your original vision to remain intact.
Inclusivity is a key buzz word for application forms. But how inclusive is it for the artist? you have an idea, propose it, gain support, build relationships and confidence and then permission to go ahead hinges upon opinion. Judged on reputation how do you begin? The answer? With balls. Front, a quiet but steely conviction that what your proposing is a good idea. Note to self I must research other public artworks and their originators....just as I would look at other painters.
It's a great opportunity to grow in confidence but a challenging one. On the one hand it's simple, choose your piece or project be clear about it's aims and stick to it.
The hard part is sticking to it, testing every move against those first principles to see if they fit within the concept add or detract from the original. This happens a lot and even if you are calling a manufacturers....they immediately begin to explain how their product works and that it might be different in the circumstances you are suggesting....or the time frames don't fit funding, planning permission has to be sought etc etc...
Translating art from the mind into reality is an art.
Questions I must address:
Do I want the Big Flag pole above all else?
Do I want the community project? How much?
What is it exactly?
How can I make it work in the current cultural and political landscape?