Mixed medium on board
70cm x 70 cm
In this series of seven works, I tell a story about words – a search for compassion and hope in a world of harsh, warlike cries.
As we entered the pandemic, I felt that the language of the global media, our politicians and society had become aggressive, jingoistic, harsh and abusive. Spokesmen, often in military uniform, talked of ‘defeating the virus’ as if it were a visible enemy, an enemy ‘to our country’, and soldiers were deployed in South Africa, as if they could somehow destroy this threat by force of arms. Instead, they attacked the very people they were supposed to defend.
Everywhere, in the media and in our homes, was evidence of war in the vilest form: domestic abuse against women and children.
It took a concerted effort to work my way through this violence to find peaceful moments, to reflect on kindness for myself and others, and find those spaces that would keep me safe. The narrative here is one of hope, compassion, and beauty, in nature and the dream world, keeping our relationships healthy and strong.
In the words of Arundhati Roy: ‘To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all to watch. To try to understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget…Another world is not only possible, SHE is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear Her breathing.’