Artist Statement

My life has been as a river, and I a traveler on the river. To pin my statement on one particular theory would be a form of fixation, clinging to one point on the rivers journey. "You are not the same people who left that station or who will arrive at any terminus" dry salvages - four quartets - TS Eliot

Every day I am a different person, my moods and ideas seem to shift as sand. 

Carpe Diem seize the day, or that is what the movie Dead Poets Society would have you wish.

There is something quite severe associated with the phrase "to seize". It suggests to me a strong grasp. But the more literal Latin translation Carpe, is to pluck. Carpe in anatomical terms refers to the bones that make grasping or plucking possible. The Meta Carpels are the bones beyond the carpels. The question arises, what are we talking about; possibilities of choices and beyond?

An often reported story of the Buddha, talks about a trap set by humans for a monkey. A clay jar with a banana is placed so that a monkey will put its hand in the jar. With the intention to seize the banana. The monkey becomes resolute to hold onto the banana and refuses to let go, thus ensnaring him to his doom.

To seize is an attempt in a context of, to conquer. On the other hand, to pluck is a delight in plucking, fruitful.

Take pleasure in your choices. There seems to be a message of sorrow with absolutes. I prefer to pluck, than to seize. Perhaps Maybe is wiser to be uncertain than hold onto a certainty.


Breaking through the fixation is the operation of my thinking mind. A concept drives an idea, awareness drives our concepts and our mythologies we create are models of our societal concepts.  Mythology in this sense is not a pejorative, but is a representation.  If I were to say the universe is expanding and use a balloon to illustrate my thought, the balloon is not the universe expanding but a way we can think about the universe expanding. 

We have forgotten the importance of myth, and mistake the model for reality and thus we are in a crisis today with the Abrahamic Religions.  The Buddhists have a saying, "the finger pointing at the moon", religion is the finger and not the moon.  My efforts are how to focus on understanding our ills in modern society.

For me a contemporary artist in a world of modern art,  I focus on the traditional methods and techniques primarily as a figure artist.  I see a lack of "metaphor", or "allegory" in contemporary realism as well as style.  I want to unite the traditional techniques with modern materials, as well as traditional materials. 

Where do myths come from, and what is their purpose,  I believe this is the artist job to interpret myth.  Political myth, religious myth, social myth.  Myths are the fabric that hold society together.  I want to try to understand the deeper side of life and if it has meaning.  And if so what is  it?  The priests of ancient times, are the scholars of today, and they guard their secrets with equal cunning as those of old.  Thus breaking through the fixation through awareness and using art as the vehicle.

As an artist, I have to examine the under examined.  I have to come up with my narrative, and not the chosen narrative.  We see a breakdown in society today, because the narrative is broken and obsolete.  And what I think is most broken today is the masculine image of man. 

I don't think there is a problem with the masculine archetype!  It is not that there is too much masculine in the world, but too much masculine wounding.  The image and narrative that comes to mind, is a Jungian archetype of the King, and by comparison the wounded king or shadow king.  I think the most potent of the ancient to modern narratives is that of the Fisher King.  The story has come down through the ages with multiple iterations, but all deal with the wounded king.  The bringer of the boon back to the kingdom of course is Perceval. 

I want to make modern comparisons of the King, and the warrior to understand how to heal our realm.  Even if it is in just such a place as my own heart and home.

Peter Forster