The escape artist, the artists escape…. Is creativity itself a form of escapism? 

We posed the question to two talented Jersey artists, Joy Langdon and Naomi Renouf.

Naomi RENOUF

Art is something I have always done. Even as a small child I used to spend my time creating things. It makes me feel happy and relaxed and takes my mind off everyday worries and the pressures of work. 

For me art has always been, to some degree, a form of escape. When I am working on a project I get totally absorbed. I can lose myself in what I am doing to the point where I ignore someone that speaks to me; not because I am being rude, but because I am just unaware of everything else but the work I am doing. Time also tends to run away with me for the same reason.

Artwork can also be a form of escape for the audience. To an extent it doesn’t matter what I was thinking when the art was produced. Once exhibited, it is the viewer’s perspective that matters. I work in a contemplative way which involves a lot of looking and reflecting. In my finished work the more that you look, the more that you will see. I hope that it inspires a sense of contemplation and reflection in others.

All this said, the subject matter is not about escaping from the realities of the world. It is largely about my response to and often the awe that I feel when observing the natural environment. Wherever I go I find interest and beauty in the constantly changing visual environment in which we live. The light, the time of year, the time of day and the weather all create their individual impression on the landscape. I find constant inspiration in these changes. Through my paintings and textiles I want others to see the joy I have found in observing the world around me. I want to give a sense of the beauty around us and to emphasise the importance of looking after our world-not escaping from it.

Joy LANGDON

Having been asked to provide some words on the subject “Art is a form of Escape”, I find myself unable to agree with this statement.

”Art” is not an escape it is who and what you are, and you cannot escape from yourself. Art in its many forms is as important to me as eating, in fact, at times more so.

I have always loved to draw, as a child a pencil and a sheet of paper or colouring book were all that were needed to keep me quiet. Colouring inside the lines required great concentration, as did copying pictures from books. Trying to colour something smoothly without pencil lines showing was an achievement in itself. Painting came later .Watercolours have a mind of their own, but are so rewarding when you get it right, and are my favourite medium.

For many years I produced very detailed pen drawings with watercolour washes, now I use oils, acrylics, pastels or whatever suits the subject or my mood at the time, as I try to transfer the ideas in my head onto the canvas or paper. But whatever the medium or subject, art has been a central theme to my life.

No, art is not an escape, it is an inescapable way of life, and those of us caught in its spell would not have it any other way.