3 Nov 2006


Yeah, ::groan:: a really groan worthy title blamed entirely on Todd and Syne last night pointing out a wild and "far out" vid on youtube about the formation of a protein with a cast of, ten's, (maybe scores) . It was sweet, I find that being able to casually share moment with a couple of people, thousands of miles away, whose voices I know but who I have never met and wouldn't recognise in the street unless they opened their mouths still blows my mind.

amateur external image dictionary.gif1784, "one who has a taste for (something)," from Fr. amateur "lover of," from O.Fr., from L. amatorem (nom. amator) "lover," from amatus, pp. of amare "to love." Meaning "dabbler" (as opposed to professional) is from 1786.

profession external image dictionary.gifc.1225, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from O.Fr. profession, from L. professionem (nom. professio) "public declaration," from professus (see profess). Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in" is from 1541; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (e.g. oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888. Professional (adj.) is first recorded 1747 with sense of "pertaining to a profession;" 1884 as opposite of amateur. As a noun, it is attested from 1811. Professionalism is from 1856.

I have been thinking a lot lately of what it is to be an "enthusiastic amateur" as opposed to being a "professional". I turned my nose up at the idea of amateurs being more than on a par with pros back in the early 90s, but now as I am just about pressing my nose to the glass of my 40s, it makes much more sense now. They are conflicting world views.

No wonder I am getting so grumpy with my job. It' a culture that values a striving for "professionalism", and foreground's word's like "corporate" and "business" and values people for how long they have stuck it out without making waves and what they have done, rather than what they could do, their passion, intelligence or vision. Public service or job?

I found a copy of Virginia Woolfe's book "Three Guineas" (1938) the other week in the garage and it fell open to a quote that I marked over a decade ago."Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help that we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference."

That has to be right up there with the words of Barbara Jo Revelle.

"I make art because it is a way of communicating with other human beings. For me, art making is the best way to express the ideas that form in my brain. I like what Buckminster Fuller said: "You either make money or your make sense." I think art is a good way to make sense."

I make art because I love making art. I practice my art, I'm not perfect or anything. My profession is something I get paid for, that's it. I am not my job. Art is my real work. The purpose of my art is to give people a glimpse of a world seen through different eyes.

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