February 20th 2018
Review of All Quiet on the Home Front in American Suburb X
In this extended piece in American Suburb X, Brad Feurhelm writes about how one's world view shifts when one has a child, and in particular how it shifts if you work in something creative. All Quiet on the Home Front is a kind of creative place holder then, something that consolidates a creative practice, that brings a parental ways of seeing and being into the work that I used to do. Which is not what I had in mind, but is completely the case. And now that I am working on other family material (my German Family Album - you can see some on Instagram) it seems to be a world in which I will be living for some while.
These are some snippets from Brad's piece, which is quite beautiful.
Nobody can tell you the effect of what having children does for or to you if you are in the creative arts....
When you are involved in making visual work, you have several different perimeters from which you construct images. Some people work in serial, some people work on one piece for a very long time, ruminating over its every detail and some people work completely automatically and simply produce. One thing that happens while becoming a parent in the first years is that within that strange world of fatigue and over-concern, you begin to appreciate the time that you can spend in your own head as it relates to creatively quite differently. Things open up and close down in equal measure...
You grow to appreciate the time you have to yourself more often with all those strange hormones and anti-desires building up on your walk through the woods during the pram-pushing afternoon nap. At times, you find yourself trying desperately to imagine what life is like outside of the bountiful, but repetitive gestures of stacking those wooden blocks over and over or flipping through the same book 6,000 times to continue the ritual for stability that a child unknowingly forces on his or her parent.