Michael Barnett

︎ barnett.michael1

Describe what you do creatively.
Creativity is a way of engaging in and with life and can manifest in all forms of activity. This can be explored in more specific and explicit frames of reference such as making art, but just as much in elevating the mundane to a deliberate and enjoyable process, such as sensibly ordering the objects on the bench before doing the washing up. So, in one sense, creating is a conjuring up of an interpretable condition and perhaps something of interest even out of nothing much. This can be storytelling, in the narrative sense, or just emphasising prompts to a particularised perceptual or conceptual experience.

Do you identify as an artist, illustrator, designer or something else?
Technically I identify as a designer but trust, hopefully, that others might consider some of the things I have made, such as paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics or sculptures, as artful.  

Do you stick to a defined stylistic direction in your work?
I tend to work on “projects” and progress an idea through a few iterations before putting it down and then when coming back, start something afresh, usually a bit different. I started out figurative, but in a graphic style and have progressively moved through more calligraphic fields to geometric games informed in part by 3D technical drawing techniques learnt through architectural presentation work. 

What colours and/or shapes excite you?
I find tertiary colours very satisfying because of the extent of their variety, but I have also worked with purer hues, usually in the pastel range, rather than super saturated.  I find geometry very engaging. The capacity of the line to lead the eye and the various constructs of balance, proportion, symmetry, repetition and modulation that reads from the composition is fascinating. Perhaps the most exciting thing is the way the mind seeks to interpret a logic to the arrangements that it thinks it sees, and when this flounders on some irresolvable aspect, it will reposition and start again to make sense out of the unsensible. Visual intrigue seems to sustain ongoing engagement.

What is your relationship with chaos?
Chaos is just the kind of environment in which the mind challenges itself to try to discern some sensibility, even fleeting, and then construct sense. Perhaps it is futile but is nonetheless engaging while the fascination lasts. Chaos is like an all-pervasive field in which we have to try to find ourselves.

Do you take risks or play it safe?
I tend to stay on the direction that I have set rather than change the project midstream if another idea or alternative path suggests itself. That is not to say that doodling and freebasing the development of an idea in the first place doesn’t involve chancing the unknown and seeing what can be made of otherwise random activity.

What discourages you from being creative?
Being too busy doing other, less interesting, compulsory things.

What are you expecting from the RMXTV experience?
Perhaps it will be a bit like being a fleeting participant in an ongoing street art gallery experience with external suggestions on where to go from here.