DESERTEDWhen given the opportunity, especially when I enter an art award, I like to add a written explanation of my artwork to ensure that the viewer (judge) can match his/her interpretation with mine. Most major art awards demand a written statement with each entry. Not everyone agrees about such statements, as they believe that the artwork should speak for itself. Unfortunately, there are often occasions when the true meaning is lost or overlooked and that’s when the statement becomes a valuable aide in assessing the artwork.

This is also a very valuable exercise for the artist as they can reinforce in writing what their original thoughts were and what the final result was. It is also the perfect opportunity for self-evaluation. The more one writes these statements, the more one comes to understand not only their art, but who they are.

Art is not all ‘visual’, creating images without any justification other than the product itself. Creating art is one’s response to being an individual who has something to say, and everyone should say something now and then! There is a lot of art out there, but so much of it seems to be ‘busy work’, faithful copies, copied because people have the skill to reproduce images. What we ‘say’ with our art is just as important as the art itself. Talking about one’s art is tremendously beneficial not only to an audience, but to the artist; writing about one’s art is the same. We need to be aware that the role of the artist isn’t simply to produce ‘pretty pictures’.


50 x 70cm

Prismacolor pencils on pastel board

Own reference photo

This drawing is almost completed, but there is enough information available for the following statement.

The historic property Cheshunt, is situated in Tasmania’s Meander Valley in the north of the state. The Bowman family have owned the property since 1873. The farm is still active, but some of the buildings are in need of repair. One of these is the former shearers’ quarters. The scene is in fact inside, in what once was the lounge room, looking towards the corridor. The front door is missing, some of its parts can be seen in the corridor.

It’s 9am on a warm, early Summer’s day. The silence is only disturbed by the presence of a shaft of intense sunlight that pierces the corridor. Nothing has changed here for years. A rusty mug lies fallen on a table that once witnessed the laughter of shearers who gathered each year to remove the thick coats from the property’s sheep; not anymore.

One of the few remaining doors carries the scars and graffiti of over a hundred years of farming; there’s nothing to tell anymore.

The floorboards, weakened by years of foot traffic lay still, decaying slowly.

Drums are now the main residents along with a defiant table.

A thousand stories will one day disappear when this building gives up its will to stand.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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  1. Thanks Richard, as I am struggling to write an artist statement for my new works you give me inspiration (and hope). Karen

    • artkleko says:

      Hi Karen, your thoughts will soon freely flow on paper. Make a habit of writing about each artwork in your diary, before, during and after it’s created. From your notes you will be able to compile a statement.

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