Andrew Shaw

The Imagination Thing

I’ve had this phrase “The final dribble of God.” going around in my head – as if God was a fluid resource; stained clay in the place where a watering hole used to be, or a radio signal dissolved at the limit of reach somewhere in a cold unseen fragment of the universe where ideas run out. In this scenario God is smaller than the environment, it’s an exhaustible energy. I don’t subscribe to God in this or any other way. Not really. But there it is, the phrase, whispering in my head like the answer to a prayer I never made, propelling me to make something beautiful from the fleeting experience of mind and material. Something that drives the seeking of connection, and a reassurance of magic in the mundane; that’s at the centre of this mission of discovery. Life is so filled with pain and subjugation, it is imagination that shows us alternatives. During World War Two American Military Intelligence devised a scheme that would utilise Mexican Free-tailed bats as a delivery system for napalm. It was proposed that the winged creatures would carry pouches of liquid death to be detonated above the heads of Japanese soldiers. This idea was too complicated to execute, so they split the atom instead. In another time and place someone invented the decimal point, and another wrote a timeless poem about love. It is the human desire for sense, beauty, connection and chaos that drives creativity. At one end of the spectrum it is an engine for death, and at the other it puts compassion into action. I don’t know what else there is to do with time but lean out to the furthest place of dreaming. I want to spit into that clay. 

Andrew Shaw is a visual artist and award-winning writer of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, member of the Institute for Conceptual Studies, and member of The Silent Academy, an artist-run multimedia press creating limited edition artefacts, books, music, film, events and installations which collaborates and promotes the work of artists who focus on the conceptual and the desire to disrupt habitual thinking.

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