In my 25-year history as a visual artist I have created many exhibits on varied topics such as: Physics and consciousness; Mayan culture; Emotionally-rich childhood memories. Attending to the complexities of how art interacts with the viewer, my artwork is further defined by a process that serves to create a conversation between the artist and the viewer. For this USAproject I would like to build an exhibit which opens such a conversation- this project’s focus is on Compassion.
I have long been intrigued by ideas of compassion - my interest was reignited by an article on the science of compassion* which suggests that an act of compassion alters our behaviour in profound ways. I do in fact have clear recall of details from my life where I received or extended an act of compassion. I felt this for example, when I poured a handful of coins into the outstretched hands of an elderly homeless man. For a palpable split-second our hands touched, in this moment I connected to a profound feeling of connection. The significance of this has stayed with me, providing a basis for an idea - to create several sculptural works that describe memorable compassionate experiences as a way of demonstrating a connection between otherwise disparate individuals.
"Love and kindness are the very basis of society. If we lose these feelings,
society will face tremendous difficulties; the survival of humanity will be
endangered."-- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
What I would like: To capture notable and prominent stories on compassion - stories then result in a wire sculpture exhibit. Why collect these stories?: As ‘artist’, I am witnessing predictions of an oncoming onslaught of economic failure, environmental disaster, and an unsettled political atmosphere. These circumstances are creating increased need for understanding and compassion. This project is set by a backdrop of hope, as I set out to collect stories from people to see where compassion exists today. How will I conduct my research?: I will drive across country. Using photos and testimonials to capture stories I will then take these visual and audio notes to create an exhibition – a visual interpretation in wire sculpture culminating in a public exhibition. How does this inspire community dialogue?: A blog will be established with which I can interact with any interested person or community as I progress with my journey-based research. How will your donation be used? I will use funds for transportation, lodging, studio work, and public outreach.
Thank you in advance for your interest and support of this project!
* (New York Times, 07/15/2012)
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