"The problem is to go into oneself and find out what one is and to suffer what it is to be oneself. Go to the darkest parts and the brightest parts and find out what you like and want, and to validate that...It's not just a question of art and finding out who you are and to make this wonderful thing happen out of yourself but it's the responsibility to the society and to care about other people...A lot of people think art is to be separate, but art is to embrace others - whether to convey something difficult or talk about light - work comes from spirit, journeys into spirit are what we need now. Spirit has always been in art."
- Joyce Wieland
I just finished reading reading Artist on Fire by Jane Lind. It is the wonderful autobiography of Joyce Wieland. She referred to herself as being the foremost artist. Others described her as being fearless. She was also I believe to be the most influential Canadian feminist artist.
The quote from Joyce Wieland summarizes for me much of what best describes what it means to be an artist regardless of your gender or feminism. She was a kindred and inspiring spirit to many women.
Joyce followed her inner visions and the legacy she left to those for us to follow was to listen and find our own voice, an act of faith in the face of fear. She created art because she loved it and believed art was "given from a divine source of love".
Art was not about theory for Joyce Wieland but about creating from the inside emotion of who she was, and making the personal political. She was in that category of women who created from their inner voice and vision.
I highly recommend reading this book, to anyone.
"To read this absorbing account of the life and art of Joyce Wieland is to enter again the magic circle that Canada's most original artist created in her life and work period. She remains unique. We are again enriched by her whimsy, her passion her zest for life, her contagious vitality even while we are saddened by the burden of pain she carried and by her tragic and untimely death. "
- Doris McCarthy
Joyce died on June 27th 1998 of Alzheimers disease at the age of 68. She was greatly loved and admired.