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October 9, 2013

AND FURTHERMORE....

A relevant comic strip which I drew in 2009.

The D.O.B. Question 1

The D.O.B. Question 2

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October 8, 2013

STILL CREATIVE EVEN IF...aging?

A few months ago I was invited to be one of the speakers at a prestigious conference organised by the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society which will take place from October 16 to 18 in Deauville, France. Of course I accepted, as you can see by checking the list of speakers here.

UPDATE: the 'here' link doesn't work properly on my browser. It should go to the main site with all speakers pictured and full program as a PDF. Try simply entering 'Women's Global Forum, Deauville' in Google.

The subject I've been asked to participate in discussing on Friday, 18th October, along with Russian author Ludmila Ulitskaya, and Professor David Galenson from the University of Chicago, and Pamela Ryckman, American author and journalist, is:

Creativity and, ahem, Aging

The ahem is entirely mine and explains why I am simultaneously flattered by this invitation and stupefaite that I have turned into someone who can actually be described as ageing. Moi? Vieillissant? There isn't even a French word for the process. I hear you say: fact of life, deal with it! I deal with it by the effective method known as denial.

Who says denial is bad? For example, it is perfectly sensible to deny entry to burglars or cockroaches or poisonous fumes. So, by denying entry into my psyche of the concept 'aging' I am sensibly keeping out all the heavy baggage that comes with it - prejudices, stereotypes, theories, surveys, statistics. I'm not ignoring death, that would be idiotic. But let me cross that bridge when it comes. The period between then and now is the present and creativity is always in the present tense.

Does creativity change in the same way one's body changes with time? I've spent my whole life in the creativity game - it is a serious kind of game - and I can't detect any great differences between past and present in terms of creativity. Rather than time, what has always deeply affected creativity for me are life experiences, relationships, places. I chose art as a child, never considering any other profession, and choosing to be a full-time artist is basically giving yourself permission not to join the adult world, the world in which people have proper jobs and proper careers and go on holidays and retire eventually and do that thing called 'aging'. A full-time life-long artist doesn't retire, doesn't like going on holidays, and denies aging. Voilà. C'est tout.

Next week I'm off to Deauville. Will report, with pictures when I return. I leave you with a photo of 84-year old Matisse creating with cut-out coloured paper in 1952.

Matisse creating his cut-outs

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