Aga Szot Art Studio is an idea to create an art installation, which is at the same time an art studio where I can work on a regular basis and allow people to watch me painting, a place where people can see an artist's work environment, where they can see a work developing and coming into being in front of them. It is a special experience, watching artists at work, witnessing the process of creation. Just as with a traffic accident, people are drawn by curiosity to slow down, to watch, to somehow feel part of the process. People stop and stay and become part of what is going on together with the artist at work.
In relation to the aesthetic experience, Kurt Vonnegut said, “We are trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.” What he means here is that in such moments the questioning mind ceases, the rational process is suspended and there is only experience - an insightful and expansive experience.
Watching an artist at work can, for both artist and audience can fixate us in ‘the amber of the moment’ and can offer a unique encounter, much more than a mere visual sight - an insightful experience.
The motivation to create this installation came from some fundamental ideas I share with many artists and cultural commentators on the function and role of art for us humans. It also came from some specific ideas I had about the particular location in which it is set, that is Temple Bar, here in Dublin.
Firstly I share the view with many others that art is vital for the soul. In creating or sharing an experience of art we learn a lot about our selves and our world. Through art we connect with our inner selves and with each other. We form cultural bonds across a common human community dissolving inner and outer boundaries, boundaries of self and other, of race, place and time.
Also, I firmly believe that we need art in public spaces, - not just finished art, but venues that de-mystify the art process, that offer non-artists the chance to share in that process. Many pop-up projects have existed in the city offering a brief chance for pedestrians to encounter artists at work. This installation, I feel, extends the opportunity for people to pause and interact with the creation of art – to reflect on this process and to experience what I’ve outlined as the benefits of encounters with art, that expansion of the self and soul, that breaking of boundaries, that chance to connect with things beyond ourselves.