August has gone…
The weather, the news around the world, even the opening of ‘Dismaland’ seemed to crystallise a subtle mood that it was a bit of a ‘grey’ month. It would be very easy to settle in that place – the weather is still not great, the news is still hard to listen too and Dismaland is still open!
But I dont want to settle for dismal! So I have a question. Can beauty live alongside sadness? The stuff of life can be tricky, but how I respond to it is entirely up to me. For me, part of being an artist is about highlighting what’s good and beautiful around me. My response to what I see and hear becomes something tangible and lasting, and hopefully something that reflects the good and beautiful. And it’s perfectly possible to have a reflective response to the darker things in life whilst, at the same time, celebrating what’s bright and beautiful. We have that capacity within us and it gives our work as artists integrity and weight.
I haven’t been to Dismaland, but I have seen and heard stories lately on the news that repeat its theme. But mingled in it all there are expressions of hope and beauty that will someday be told as stories or painted as pictures… The sad and the beautiful can, and often do, live alongside each other.
The capacity we all have to carry the ‘bitter with the sweet’ is a great thing. It saves the day. I’m happy to be part of something that offers the passerby another view – a counter view if you like – to the sometimes overwhelming view we are shown day by day, giving room for beauty, allowing the ‘good’ into the mix.
Even a glance though our gallery window may cause someone to pause and reset their thinking, and time spent inside the gallery may change an attitude and effect the course of a day.. who knows? The gallery becomes more than just a shop that sells pieces of art. It becomes a place where the work on the walls brings balance to the sometimes biased experience we have of the wider world. It’s exciting being part of something that gives room for those expressions.
When the dismal threatens to overpower the beauty, we can make a choice to look at the beautiful. One doesn’t necessarily cancel out the other, but we have a more balanced perspective on life.
How exciting and compelling, what a great reason to be an artist!
Jane Reeves – Painted Fused Glass
Vesna Gusman – Ceramic Houses
Jenny Aitken – Painting
Daniel Wright – Elliptical Vessel