GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2010 performer Nikki Patin will perform as part of this year’s festival. Full programme of the festival (8 to 21 Nov) is now announced. For GFEST 2010 films, performances and exhibitions information & booking please visit: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk/
Some thoughts shared by Nikki:
My art is my salvation, my redemption. I feel that it gives my life purpose and meaning and helps me to make sense of my own feelings and experiences. It is a catalyst for collaboration and connection. It is a bridge from myself to others and vice-versa. I wish I had a practice. When I’m preparing for shows, I run through work to make sure that I have it down but I’m not a fan of incessant rehearsing because I lose my ability to emotionally connect to the work if I repeat it too often. I write/compose when I feel the need or motivation. I’ve never had the luxury to create art for art’s sake and I do believe mine suffers for that lack, but I also believe that the connection that I feel to my work is intrinsically linked to my ability to harness my emotion and ride it until I reach composition.
Well, I feel that my beliefs around sexuality and my attraction not being derived from one specific gender affects the images that I present onstage. Also, I’m pretty much constantly aware of the “isms” that control so much of what we take in, in terms of media and art. I am in a relationship with a male partner that affords me the privilege of seeming heterosexual, but I don’t feel that taking that privilege allows the truth to be known. I’m a bit off the beaten path, in terms of my sexuality and gender identity. that affects what I write, how I perform and who I connect with most in my audiences. I feel most comfortable performing in queer spaces because I have more room to be more complex, to challenge the status quo and to actually be heard/seen/felt through multiple and simultaneous layers of identity.
My work is rarely about sexuality exclusively, but I feel like my poems and lyrics are threaded with dialogue that asks questions, reveals experiences from a queer perspective. In my creativity and in my life, I am constantly challenging what it means to be female and male, to love and be attracted to gender identities all along the spectrum. I suppose this may seem confusing to folks, gay and straight, who have a more binary view of sexuality. I believe that the personal is the political and that art invariably reflects who’s creating it. I believe that good art is good art and is so, regardless of sexuality. Art is a vessel for expression. If we don’t express some part of ourselves (experiences, perspectives, identities, opinions, etc.), whether abstractly, directly or indirectly, would the artistic creation even exist? I do not think so. Art is a direct line from the energy we share, as part of co-existence with every living thing. Some parts of that direct line express queer stories, experiences, perspectives. Some parts don’t. The end of that line is art, though. At the root of Black art, queer art, feminist art, European art, indigenous art is art. I think it’s up to the artist to determine their own identity and how their art does or does not represent all or part of that identity.
I fund my practice through teaching this art that I love and performing a lot. I also sell books and albums. I’ve recently gotten a full-time job helping other artists make money for their art through teaching and performing in schools and community organizations.
I do some social networking, but I try not to be obsessive or annoying. I have my own website. I send out press releases about shows. I need more support getting noticed by media outlets and getting critical reviews of my work. I think that the media is vastly under-utilized by independent artists, including myself. I think that many amazing artists are hesitant or don’t have time to do proper PR. A lot of great work ends up getting missed or looked over in favor of work by those with more financial backing, who can afford a PR firm, or those with better connections to journalists, editors and popular art critics/bloggers.
I want to be known as a renaissance woman who is equally skilled as a writer, vocalist, performance artist and designer. I want the respect of thinking people who resist easy answers and cultural brainwash. I’d like my work to be something that people enjoy and want to come back to. I want one album of mine to be someone’s favorite album, an automatic entry in their 10 ten albums of all time.
I think there are many scenes with the gay or queer art scenes. I see more visibility and more necessity for queer art, especially because bullying of gay teens is reaching epic proportions. Our younger generations need more encouragement, inspiration and support. They need stories and connections and relationships to art that feel like them, like home, like safe. They need anthems and they need to know that they are not alone. I think queer art is going to become less about direct sexuality and more about life through the lens of a queer identity. The world looks different to us. We need to keep talking about that, if only to provide balance and clarity.
A single wish ? I wish to be taken as one voice, one story, one part of the human circle. I wish to show one more way of living.
Thank you Nikki and best wishes from GFEST
GFEST2010 showreel on YouTube
GFEST 2010 images on http://www.flickr.com/photos/GFEST
GFEST 2010 Performers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/sets/72157624995681186/
More info on GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST in short) web: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.ukGFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar
WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in venues across London. GFEST web networks: http://www.wisethoughts.org http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk http://www.facebook.com/niranjan.kamatkar http://www.gaywisefestival.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/gfest https://gaywisefestival.wordpress.com/ http://www.yoursemotionally.com/ http://www.myspace.com/interviewwithapolitician http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/ http://www.youtube.com/user/wisethoughts http://uk.linkedin.com/in/niranjankamatkar http://www.myspace.com/gaywisefestival