Monday, May 23, 2011

The Final Curtain

After almost five years and 830 posts, this will be the last post to Self Vs. Self.
I began writing this blog with the simple intent of documenting my daily life as an artist. It quickly evolved into something a little more complicated: a forensic examination of my mental illness, a workbook for creative ideas, an extended polemic (incited by the iniquities of the commercial gallery system), a sporadic dialogue with others interested in the creative process, and yes, a marketing and communications tool (one which effected a number of significant 'firsts' for an Australian artist).
Inevitably, it has also documented a series of transformative events in my life, not just the exhibitions, media controversies and auctions that markedly increased my reputation (and prices for my work) but also emotional and financial crises, from prolonged bouts of depression, confinement in a mental hospital and bankruptcy to the sudden, agonising decline and death of my father. Never less than completely candid, even the darker intimacies of my uncertain sexual identity have been exposed.
The trouble is, I feel that this blog now presses me too tightly to a past – and, as it were, a self – from which the time has come to move on.
Of course, this is not the end of my writing online. Think of it as the end of a chapter, the conclusion of a first act. While I figure out what comes next, I will post daily to Facebook and Twitter, as well as, less often, to my archival web site. My monthly newsletter, Studio Notes, will also continue. However, this blog will soon be removed from public view.
To everyone who has joined me for all or part of this unusual story, thank you. Even those of you who made plain their distaste for it – and me – have contributed to its unlikely achievements.

29 comments:

Mike Wood said...

All good things end in their own time. :) I look forward to continuing reading about your journey as an artist where ever that may be. :)

John T. Unger said...

Hazel— I wish you would leave it online as an archive, even if you do not continue to write for the blog. So many, many people have found inspiration and knowledge here. When an influential site like yours goes away, it leaves a big hole in the web.

But it's your call of course.

Anonymous said...

I've always said you should compile all the notes and make it into a book,
Alena Fresquet

Anke Holst said...

I've loved reading your blog - I have followed it off and on for the past year. I think your complete honesty of expression, your strength, and the depth of your experience have had a more profound influence on me than i realise right now.

Thank you.

lohang said...

Thanks for all the challenging and inspirational posts. Good luck with everything.

dcblogged said...

Like John T. Unger I would be happy if you left your blog as an archive - perhaps with commenting disabled if you do not wish to look back. I can however understand the appeal of a clear cut - but it would be a pity. Thank you for the inspiration and the best of luck in everything you do!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for your daring inspiration.

May your bare feet find the path for your walkabout.

charles x said...

dont go

Anonymous said...

Facebook and Twitter are the headlines that lead us to the deeper stories that we then choose to follow. Your's is a particularly interesting one.

michael said...

While there will be the loss of this account/blog, both in terms of new posts, as well as your decision to delete it entirely, I look forward to whatever you choose to write next.

I am very hopeful that it will contain the same disruptive insight you've wielded so deftly here...

Julia Hensley said...

Hazel, thank you for sharing yourself here so articulately, creatively and boldly. I look forward to whatever form your future online presence takes.

Purky said...

I have found both you and your blog inspiring and fascinating and thankyou for sharing it with the world. However I feel that removing this blog from the public domain would be a tragedy, even if you choose to no longer update it.

I am very glad you will keep us updated via facebook and twitter.

All the best x

Camille said...

I understand. Six years ago I created a blog, urban butterfly, which featured my poetry and documented my process of becoming a published author/poet. Like you, I was extremely candid and forthcoming with all of who I was back then- the good, the bad & the ugly. The blog took on a life of its own...and quite unexpectedly. I had a following before there was a such thing as "followers". After about 2 or 3 years, I decided to delete the blog for good and take a long break, because for me, it became too much. I don't know exactly how to describe what I was feeling, but the word you used, "pressed" seems appropriate.

Hazel, to be completely honest, I have enjoyed your writing and your candidness more so than your art, although your art is beautiful. You're a beautiful writer as well, and you should embrace that! I have never "met" a writer more candid than you are...and you paint. A lot of writers write what they want you to think is reality. You, my dear, write reality and that's a beautiful thing.

All the best,

Camille

soartmodel said...

Sincere thanks for creating this lovely, mind blowing blog & for the opportunity to say goodbye to it! xxx

Alex said...

I have enjoyed your blog. Good luck with everything

José Luis Moreno-Ruiz said...

Yeah, Hazel, thanks and good luck, but I think that's a pitty 'couse it's a very special blog.
I send a kiss for you.
JL

Tina Mammoser said...

Thank you thank you for all your sharing! Goodbye past. Bring on the future.

baartzag said...

I follow your blog since about a year.
Always is amusing and surprising.
It has been a great deal of inspiration for being sincere and sharing openly your thoughts and demons.
It has also showed me the power of the internet for building an artist reputation (good or bad).
Thank you for all that.
Best of luck.
I also love your work by the way.
Cheers.

baartzag said...

I follow your blog since about a year.
Always is amusing and surprising.
It has been a great deal of inspiration for being sincere and sharing openly your thoughts and demons.
It has also showed me the power of the internet for building an artist reputation (good or bad).
Thank you for all that.
Best of luck.
I also love your work by the way.
Cheers.

Anonymous said...

boooo, now where can i go to see great boobies ??
as a spectator it's been an incredible journey that i've shared with you. i'm so very excited to see what comes up next! cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hazel,

Your provocateur tapestry of art,
candid musings, inspiration, and generosity
here will be deeply missed.

Best wishes,
-Malcho

amandajayne said...

Sad to say good bye, and thanks for sharing for the years you did in such an awesome way.

ghanajaa said...

I salute you! Thanks Hazel.
The Web needs the Brave, so please just stick around in some way...

Coralie Gill said...

Thank you for all of it. I'll miss your writing and look for you elsewhere. I'm still hoping that you come to Canada some day so that I can see your art in person.

James Schmeling said...

Thank you. I look forward to what's next.

ChaLi said...

Well, so I'll look for you elsewhere. C U!

Mona said...

Will miss this blog as there has been some great stuff here. I must admit that I too think it wld be a good idea to leave up as an archive...
Regards/

Anonymous said...

Hazel- I've enjoyed this blog, and will be sad to see it end. At first I felt as though I'd come across someone's diary and was reading something I shouldn't be, and after time I got to know you.....got to know your world, so very close my world. An artists world. Everyone who read's your blog knows about the gallery system that you condemned and walked away from, but very few have had the courage to walk away, to challenge the status quo.

All the best on your journey.

Nathe said...

I'll miss you here.Thanks for sharing and enjoy the post Self Vs Self era.