A few candles lit in their memory, it seems so small a gesture… But what more can we do in these strange times as the Corona virus stalks the land?
My photo of the candles was taken in a monastery in Armenia when I was there some years ago. Below, another photograph taken at the same time. I was amazed to see those fluid stone carvings, that swirling knotwork so reminiscent of our own Celtic high crosses.
Even the Christ on the cross was more like the joyful Risen Christ favoured by the Celts, rather than the crucified Christ of the Romans. It reminded me that we’re all connected, all related in some way, that we’re all in this together.
So what can art do? I’m going to quote from an artist friend of mine, Sarah Zoutewelle-Morris, who has since passed on.
My heart was never wholly into selling my art as a life goal. I wanted a more collaborative, connected kind of art. I wanted my art to do good, add value to life… the kind of art that carries a connection with life’s mysteries and large questions, the kind of art that can soothe souls and inspire people to either make art themselves or to make changes in their lives to let in more play, imagination, connection…
Seeing the world as it is now, seeing old systems collapsing and creativity needed for renewal in every part of life, I would ask: do we need more art products? Or do we need artists leading authentic lives, creating from their heart and soul to bring these much needed values into the world?
And this piece above was one I had in an exhibition in Tbilisi, Georgia and also at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin, in a show entitled: “Future Perfect”. The Georgian script translates as: Where there is art, there is Hope.
I think that artists have an innate drive to make art. They get an idea and they just have to follow it, to see where it leads them, always hoping for the best. Once they’ve latched onto this idea, they’re “incorrigible”. Well, that’s what I’m told – but making the art helps us. When it works, it feels good, it gives us hope. And if it helps others too, that’s even better.
What works of art give you hope?