I read an article today, published by the Huffington Post a week after the election – What It Means To Be An Artist In The Time Of Trump.
This is a question I have been asking myself with much self-recrimination at times. If only I were an activist or an activist artist wouldn’t my contribution be better? But I am who I am and my life long obsession with beauty and the wisdom of the ancient world continues to inform my work.
I really enjoyed what these artists had to say. They helped me to remember that we each have our part and that our responsibility is to play that part to the best of our ability.
Katya Grokhovsky, visual and performance artist said, “Artists, please do not isolate, hide, retreat. Instead, speak through your work, however softly.” So I must continue to speak softly about the truth of beauty to a world gone mad with hate and ugliness.
Emma Sulkowicz, performance artist said “I believe that bad things happen because people desire to do them. Legislation can punish people for being bad, but can’t prevent their initial desire. Art is powerful ― is enough ― because it can make people feel differently. It forces people to be sensitive to others. It creates compassion. Our mission as artists is to remember that we have the power to make each other feel.”
As the butterfly’s flapping wings can be the starting point of a hurricane far away, an art work whose intention is of love and beauty can spread its energy far and wide.
Then an idea hit – a challenge to myself. I’m calling it the Love Trumps Hate challenge. I plan to post one image a day over the next month which expresses the beauty and love that flows around the world. At times the image will be an artwork of my own, at other times it might be a photo or an image from another artist. But always it will be about love and connection – the love that binds us all together in this glorious spinning planet we call home.
As artists we do have the power to affect beliefs and feelings. And we all have the power to speak out and express our truth. Let your voice be like the flapping of a butterfly’s wing. Ultimately the truth of Love will Trump hate.