"Man or Isms" could just as easily have been called "Pilgrim" - I'll explain.

As I normally work with no preconceived end product or "finishing line" (let alone a title) a part of the judgement that I have to make is - when is the piece "finished"? - visually at least.

After having built my initial structure for this piece, I seemed to get carried away, loading it up with various baggage. I changed the shape quite a few times allowing me to spread more and more "clutter" onto it - not for any particular reason, just because balancing on that one leg - again for no particular reason - I alternately kept putting more on each side to counter the other.

Image finished - I thought - I kept looking at it and wondering what it reminded me of, it was something I felt familiar with, when one day it came to me: it was John Bunyan's Pilgrim carrying his "burden". The book "Pilgrim's Progress" I had read some 30 years earlier, just after a strange episode in my own life - but that's another story.

However, back to Pilgrim's burden. I am not going to try to interpret the story for anyone else - it is a book that can be read at many levels. For me however, at the time I read it, it crystallized the idea of what my burden had been (still is). I had to ask the question: 'am I truly myself or just the accumulation of all the possessions, ideas and "isms" I've accumulated over my life?' 28.10.10


"Man or Isms" - detail