Artist Edmund Clark spoke to prisoner Michael about what art means to him.
To me it is the ability to express what my mind can imagine; if it may be a dragon storming a castle, a boat voyage across a dreamscape or a dilapidated old garden shed nestled in an overgrown cornucopia of vegetation; either way art allows me to think of other worlds and then share them with ours. Some say, “you can’t teach artist talent”, that comes naturally. I’d agree to a certain extent; yes my perception and the way I view the world come naturally, ever since I can remember I felt I had no choice but to see in detail the colours and shapes of my surroundings, and my imagination was always somewhat vivid as if I could play back films within my mind. Saying all that, my skills however were taught and the ability to put my perception on to paper was due to the teachers throughout my life; firstly, my dad was an architect and then my auntie and brother who both have interest in art also.
The academic teachers throughout my life also made a huge contribution to shaping how I can express myself through my creations. I’m able to express myself through my creations. I’m able to express a lot of emotions through my work. If I am feeling sad, angry, happy, excited, painting or sculpture will say it all in some type of physical form. For me, my emotions are something of a sketchy subject and one I am not always able to cope with or understand. My art however, helps me through this.
I feel privileged to have my art as a companion on my life journey, painting pictures of my experiences and dreams, helping me through and keeping me company; and as a companion, I do sometimes take it for granted and not pay attention to it for a while but I’m always in the comfort that it will be there whenever I need it.