ARTIST SHOWCASE: Ted DeMarsh
Ted was one of the first artists to join the Art Hive Collective back in May 2020.
His abstract nature and use of chopsticks, washers and other objects made his work stand out from the rest.
Here is more about Ted from his own words.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Edward DeMarsh, I go by Ted, and I’m an artist.
Why do you do what you do?
I find creating to be the most fully satisfying thing to do with my life. When I wander away into making my living doing anything else, I feel oddly unnatural and strategic in making my way. When I create, it’s the most natural thing in the world, it flows, so I always return to it.
How do you work?
I often move back and forth from large works to smaller works, and from working in 2 dimensions to working 3 dimensions. I like the curious effect of when paint sits side by side on the canvas with things like chopsticks and vintage hardware. It keeps me fresh minded and curious about how it will work. I’m not one to be too repetitive in my work and working this way keeps me alert and inspired.
What’s your background?
I’m basically an uneducated labourer who is lucky enough to have a personal vision and the ability to express it. I’ve worked professionally and successfully as a writer, theater director and now visual artist. I continue to work at them all when it’s right for me or when asked to do so by someone I’d like to work with.
What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Self honesty. Too express strongly I feel you need to see yourself clearly. Not always with understanding, but always with honesty. Know one else has to know what you see, but you do.
What role does the artist have in society?
To contribute beauty or awareness, and for me, it’s best when they arrive together from the artist. Some artists lean more heavily to one or the other while I always try to combine them when I can.
What has been a seminal experience?
Two things. An over arching one is that I once had a life that I wished to escape, so I sought a way and creativity was it. The second was standing in a large theater when I was younger waiting for the cast I was directing to arrive. I was alone and I felt the vastness of the space, that it was a place made to satisfy an audience open to the experience, and that I felt completely at home, happy, and eagerly alive.
Explain what you do in 100 words
I look for the invisible emotional and spiritual currents in my life and what I see in the lives of us all and do my best to make them, with as much sensitivity as I can find in me, visible. I always fail to express the inexpressible, but I love the perpetual coming close. Colour works sometimes, structure other times, words often. I open myself to their expressive possibilities and then follow them down inside myself. I often say I throw myself off cliffs and learn to fly while falling. It’s like that, and I do love to fly.
What art do you most identify with?
I like challenging work of any kind that leans towards beauty to support it and not ugliness.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
In the doing, paper sculpture. It’s a puzzle where you don’t know how the pieces fit until they do. The final works often surprise me, and I love that. I do love it also when I am tackling a big painted work and it doesn’t get away from me in intent or balance, which can happen.
What themes do you pursue?
‘Recognize and accept a bad situation. If possible, make it better’. It’s a constant.
What’s your scariest experience?
Being in a river current that was sweeping me away from the boat I had dived off, watching it recede and knowing there was no way to get back to it. I found a way, but that was just luck.
What’s your favourite art work?
GUERNICA, by Pablo Picasso. It was printed inside the cover of a high school text book when I first saw it. It was the first time I understood how art could silently fill my emotions with awe and understanding at the same time. I couldn’t possibly know what it felt like to be in that place at that time, but thanks to that great artist and great work, I did. I can’t remember the class, but I’ll never forget holding the text book and continually looking at it.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
In 1992 at the Freddie Mercury concert, David Bowie knelt on the stage in Wembley Stadium in London and prayed The Lord’s Prayer to 72000 hushed people. I understood in a flash that to be open and sincere, to be strong without being hard, was as honest as honest could be, and not frightening. People know what’s moving and uplifting when they are open and given the chance and you show it to them. I became determined to follow his lead.
It never lets me down, always surprises me, and I am as much of a fan of my work as the creator of it. I also think it’s limitless in materials, colours and ideas. No matter how widely I imagine something, art can fit it in.
What wouldn’t you do without?
A heartfelt connection with others.
Tell us about your experience being a part of the Art Hive Collective?
Being in the growing and evolving Art Hive Collective offers me the chance to experience a number of things I really welcome. To see the work of such a wide variety of other talented artists and to feel grateful that I share with them the aim to put our work out into the world. Though we haven’t had much chance to meet physically, I feel we know each other a little through our work. As is natural, some I relate to more so than others, but I always admire the intentions behind the works. It’s also a real pleasure to like, share, and comment on my peer’s works. It feels like caring, and when it happens for me, to feel being cared for. Also, to be part of a community, and to feel that I am welcome there is just a warm feeling. With many of the artists in the Hive I’m a fan, and feel a success for them is a success we all share. A collective takes its shape from its members, and I’m lucky to be in one that is establishing a strong presence in BC and growing across Canada. Artists have different audiences, and the Hive in its diversity reaches out widely. I’m grateful to be a part.
To see more of Ted’s work, Visit Here