Friday, June 17, 2011


Planet $ Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm

Well, the title of this painting says it all really! I've painted the 'Earth' with little $ signs. From a distance...say, up in might not notice them. At what distance would they be discernible? And, have we noticed here on the ground? Regular readers will recognise that I am playing with perspective, pointing out the benefits of placing oneself at different viewpoints. But, even better, imagine being at all points simultaneously! That would be amazing. I wonder what it would need for us to be able to do that? Let's imagine! Yes, I do think imagination is the clue. What new knowledge could be created, via an engagement with our imaginations? I've read that Einstein, as a child, used to imagine being on the end of a light beam. We all know where that lead!

So, the painting of our planet, which I am calling '$', has a few underlying themes. The obvious one is the plundering of resources to feed our insatiable desire/need for energy, and all the paraphernalia that is manifested as a result. The other is more subtle. It is the restriction of imagination in ways which we do not notice, via the media, education and technology. The frightening thing is that all three are entwined.

As our planet is faced with a number of rather pressing problems, it might be that they seem unsolvable because we are not engaging our imaginations...and maybe if we are, the hegemonic power of self-interested parties quell the possibilities...they have no imagination! I am reminded of JK Rowling's [author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series] excellent Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association, when she said, ' I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.' 

Does it take bravery to be imaginative? Maybe. Does it take bravery to voice or express that which flows from your imagination? Well, yes! Maybe courage and imagination are a couple!?


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