The about page …the title suggests I should tell you a little about myself so here goes.

My name is Jac Saorsa and I am a visual artist…that’s first priority. I am also a writer,  (Narrating the Catastrophe, Intellect, 2011, Like Any Other Woman, Cardiff University Press, 2019) and a researcher in art and philosophy. I have an MPHIL in Philosophy, a PhD in Fine Art Practice and am currently embarked on a second PhD in Creative Writing. I teach drawing and painting in oils to undergraduate, postgraduate and independent souls, some of whom, I hope, learn to love the feel of charcoal or graphite pulled across the surface of a ‘toothy’ paper, the smell of oil and turpentine as much as I do. In 2013 I founded The Broadway Drawing School in Cardiff.

I should say right at the beginning that although I separate the aspects of what I do in explanation, I am not as schizoid in reality. Where philosophy involves concepts, and art involves percepts and affects, I understand my art practice as inseparable from my theoretical work and my writing. Each complements and reinforces the others and each influences the way I teach. Moreover, in painting, drawing, and in writing, while trying not to make too much of a distinction between intellect and expression, I push at the boundaries of both to explore outside conventional parameters. This is often a difficult task, but it is the generality of my empirical and philosophical approach to creative practice in the broad sense, and to figuration in particular.

The Spanish philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno, who incidentally was also a novelist, poet, playwright and boundary pusher, wrote, significantly here I think,

It requires extraordinary strength to be able to operate outside the existing framework, to be in constant conflict with the prevailing notions. It takes extraordinary courage, self- denial and personal sacrifice to spend more time on thought than on practice.

I personally do not want to distinguish so much between thought and practice because  for me, the two are symbiotically entwined, but it is the courage and sacrifice to which Unamuno refers that I believe is necessary in any endeavour where creativity is involved. It takes courage to embark on a journey with no end in sight, and for an artist with a natural aversion towards the finite or absolute, the creative process itself becomes such a journey. I must believe in the struggle towards a resolution that is never achievable because the creative process is necessarily endless. It can only be brought to a close through compromise, a decision to stop. It involves expected and unexpected challenges. It offers freedom and hope at the same time as it threatens despair and annihilation. It asks unanswerable questions and provides unlooked for answers. It can be as repetitive and as constant as a pendulum swing, or as erratic and ephemeral as a butterfly on the breeze. Most of all, it demands that I take risks along the way, the biggest sometimes being to begin at all. Despite this I must begin. I have no choice and and I create therefore primarily for the process, negotiating between content and expression while sacrificing the result to the knowledge that, as ‘complete,’ as it is, it retains endless possibilities that allow it to express way beyond both my initial intention, and the process from which it derived. Completing a work allows me to continue to another. Finishing a work would finish me….

Unamuno again,

My religion is to seek for truth in life and for life in truth, even knowing that I shall not find them while I live.

As an artist I am a solitary being, but being so does not prevent me from welcoming any comment, discussion, communication etc. from others who may be interested in what I am doing in my solitude. I am a blogging neophyte and I ask only your patience.

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