The Appropriation Artist With No Imagination

Ok I didn't really know how to title this blog so let me introduce myself. My name is Shal Mines, I am an artist who works in many mediums and consider myself a Up Cycle come Appropriation artist with no imagination. It always makes me giggle to say I have no imagination, but what I have is a condition known as Aphantasia.

Aphantasia is a condition where one does not possess a functioning mind's eye and cannot voluntarily visualise imagery. The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 .But is now being studied by Exeter University.

image from unknown artist

We all have some degree of imagery unless your No.5 like me. For me this is not just lack of imagery but the recollection of smell, sound, taste and touch I have nothing, nada, zip all. The only thing I do have is my internal voice.

So how can some one like me produce works of art you ask? I'm very very creative. So here is my process, As an artist my work is driven by objects and materials that I discover when walking around antiques fairs, charity shops, car boot sales, markets or even things left in the street. I often think about the life of the object, was it loved? Was it just a necessity? Was it a kept old unwanted gift they felt they should keep hold of? If it could talk, what would it tell me? I then begin to wonder what I could do with it. How does it inspire me? Is it the patina? Is it the colour? Is it the aesthetic? Or is it a combination of all of these?

I sometimes start working on an idea straight away sometime I can keep a piece for years

before I develop something that I want to do with it. As an artist I am driven by objects and a desire to put objects that juxtapose to one another together that may make the viewer question the relationships between the objects and materials used, I want to make the viewer consider these things in a way that they might not have done before. I like to give the viewer a sense of wonder and curiosity to almost give them that child like wonder or to make them think and draw their conclusions is it wonderful or is it sinister? What was the purpose and why did the artist do this. As an artist I don’t really start off with any meaning or theme, I let the materials and objects guide me and possible stories and themes develop at the time art is created.

Many artist and styles influence me, artist such as Dali, Duchamp, Dustin Yellin, Alexander Korzer Robinson, Dan Hiller, and Benjamin Lacombe to name just a few. I am also inspired by styles and eras Art Nouveau, 19 20’s/50’s/60’s. The natural forms of Art Nouveau drive an interest in fairy tales and fantasies and the fantasies of Steam Punk have lead to an interest in the Victorian era. But I am also inspired by learning other artist’s processes and its interesting learning how they created a piece or trying to work out their process so I can give it a try myself. I don’t stick to one medium as I am driven by many and enjoy the constant challenge of learning.

I believe anyone can be creative, anyone can draw you just have to want to do it. I do draw and enjoy putting portraits on to just about anything I can draw on. But I always need some form of reference, give me a reference and I'm well away, no reference and my drawings look like doodles. Not being able to draw from my minds eye is the one frustrating aspect of this condition, but I do believe Aphantasia is why I work the way I work as an artist.

If your intrested in following me on social media you can find me on:

I currently run a site for people with this condition who are also artists on Facebook

And that's me, If you have suddenly realised you may be Aphantasic yourself after reading this blog you can contact me for a chat via my webpage

or here are some links for videos

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 © 2020 Shal Mines      

Linslade, United Kingdom



The Echo Mines Studio.

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