Many years ago – good grief i am thinking of how many years ago now, some 25 years ago I went to art collage. One of the things which was notable was the similarity of everyone’s work. This wasn’t deliberate copying it was just a case of everyone being influenced by what was going on around them. I still go and see the end of year shows and walk around and look for the one person who has managed to do something different. Those people who do succeed in producing something different aren’t the people who have not be influenced at all – but are the people who are influenced by a wider range of artist.
There is a danger in being in big art houses we all end up creating work that just blends. The solution to this is not to cut ourselves off from other influences but to widen the influences we have. Instead of just seeing the art of the person next to us, we immerse ourselves in art from as many sources as possible. We widen our sensory inputs, we take on the art of russia, of spain, of indonesia, we take and adjust and combine sources from all other the world in as many styles as possible.
The same happens with the rope world – a photo of a tie will go up and within a few days you will see six more photos looking similar, and the spread will continue, as though a new theme has been determined by the rope gods and everyone is silently getting in line.
I find the same is true of my own tying. I browse through instagram loving pictures, in the afternoon I do a rig and then i go back to instagram and realise that i was influenced without it ever being conscious. Of course there are times when it is deliberate, when i see an image and think okay that’s an idea i want to play with, but mostly it’s just the subconscious background impact other people’s work has.
This process works both ways, I often see photos where i can see that someone is playing with an idea and often vastly improving on it from a rig that i have done.
This can be a really positive thing, we take in other ideas and develop them. Because i do very little planning with my rigs I like to feel that i go with the moment, that i start from a blank canvas but i don’t. The way I tie, the shapes that are formed, they are influenced by the rope community, its a community i am proud to be a part of.
So this is just a thank you, a thank you to the riggers and rope bunnies, rope models, rope bottoms from around the world who post their work to instagram, to fetlife, to tumblr. You work inspires me and makes me a better rigger.