Trent Jamieson is a stylist, as anyone who has read one of his lyrical, poetic stories can tell you. He’s published over sixty of them, as well as the Death Works Trilogy with Orbit Books and the Nightbound Land duology with Angry Robot Books. When not writing, which as far as I can tell, is never, he works at the Avid Reader Bookshop in West End. he lives in Brisbane with his wife Diana, and has a funky website over here.
Art for me is breath. It’s the rough stuff, the rhythms that are life. It’s the truths that come out in even the most fantastical of writing.
I think we’re all art and flawed and wonderful, and all those other things that people are. Art’s the honest and the lying structure that binds the structureless. It’s like those pockets of order that form out of chaos (those pockets that make things like matter and thought possible, we live in one of them).
It’s the pompous, bittersweet lines of a Smiths song, or a poem by Blake, or that scene when the first bear enters the magical (but oh so stifling) world of Margo Lanagan’s book Tender Morsels.
It’s high, it’s low, it’s clever, it’s as stupid as a pulse. And just as vital because it signals life.
I think the moment that you set out to capture something in words, music, talk, drawing, mathematics or whatever, you’re making art.
I think it’s the second most important thing to life, and love (maybe the most important thing, because it gives those other two voice). It’s play, pure and simple, even when it’s the most important subjects that are being discussed (and don’t forget that play is how animals learn to hunt and to flee the hunter and both skills are as serious as life).
Sometimes we’re frightened to say that we’re artists. We’re frightened to commit and be true to our desire for a voice.
I say, fuck that, we’re artists one and all. Even if we don’t recognise it. We all say and dream things, and, occasionally, we bridge the cruel gap between our skulls and those of others. Art is the tiger burning bright, it is the destroyer and the creator and the double-decker bus. It’s the world that we have made and unmade.
Art is breath. And breath is voice. And sometimes it stinks. Art isn’t always good, but who says it has to be good. Who hasn’t woken up to the love of their life and breathed in their morning breath? And what heartless bastard would stop loving them.
Art’s like that. Well, at least I think it is, which will have to do.