• Tony Holden


If I combine words with one of my drawings then [unsurprisingly given my life-long writing] any ongoing commentary I make fixes on the words.

So let me think about the sentence from my most recent drawing: “I keep going and use words to find and make meaning.”

‘Keeping going’ - is an image from cross-country school days and indeed from when I could run! Persistence, endurance, sticking to it. Examples abound not least in the backstories of countless Olympians. I think also of particular women whose achievements have been unrecognized.

‘Using words’ - emphasizes the sheer [utter] importance of language. I find that ‘consciousness, language and being-reality’ are at the core of our human questions. I value Wittgenstein’s phrase: “words are deeds.” John Searle comments – “he gives a very powerful expression to the view that speaking a language should be seen as a form of human activity, that words are also deeds.”

To find and make’ - suggests that important things in life have about them a sense of both revelation and discovery: there is grace, serendipity and hard work.

‘Meaning’ - How to ‘make sense’ of it, when [it] – the planet, living, science, whatever - keeps on changing. Living with uncertainty is hardly new – and for many on our planet living at subsistence level is a daily fact. In every culture – making sense at times feels heroic. So, “I keep going and use words to find and make meaning.”

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