Finding time to write and create is a luxury for some, a necessity for others. The question remains, how do we recognize those who don’t have time to create and document? Has the world changed since Tillie Olsen wrote about the suppression of those disadvantaged by gender, class, or race?
It’s a creativity enhancer, an aphrodisiac for art, Selma tells me about the mystic music that inspires her most recent painting of calla lilies dancing like whirling dervish.
Children have a mind that has not yet been indelibly marked by the world they live in. This is what fascinates me when I talk to them. They come up with fearless new proposals while older brains – like mine- tend to go with tried and tested designs, calling the process “experience”. When I look back at some of my own youthful experiments with art and creativity, I smile – or laugh. What I wouldn’t give to return to the innocence of my childhood, to the time I believed I was a misunderstood artist.
Hand crafted projects rarely are perfect, I remind myself. I have learnt to embrace these imperfections and incompleteness, the wabi sabi (侘寂) of life. The simple Japanese concept of coming to terms with transience, the imperfections and the incompleteness that life holds.
“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it.” ~Carlos Ruiz Zafón
A raised fist made of rusty-red laterite clay, “Speak Out” is Djakou Kassi’s latest artwork currently on display in Los Angeles, in Signature African Art gallery. It is a symbol of power and support for marginalized communities. African masks cover the larger-than-life clenched fist and the messages carved into the clay cry out against racism and discrimination. “Love”, “No to Hate”, “We are all Human”, and “I can’t Breath” reference the struggle faced by people of color everywhere, especially African Americans in the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ours is a world where opposites serve as a counter balance to each other. When a balance is created and maintained between extremes, that is the space where we will find peace.