Screaming, without uttering a word

In the movie dead poets society John Keating (played by Robin Williams) makes the students stand on his desk, why does he do this?  “I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way”  So if we can just stand on a chair, table, stool, box or in this case a desk then why doesn’t everyone do this? 

It wasn’t until I became an artist that I began to notice my surroundings.  I noticed how different all the little details look.  Nothing was beyond scrutiny for me anymore.  I noticed shapes, color, how things interacted with one another.  I used to grab my camera and get close up (macro) photos of flowers, railings, pieces of wood, or anything really.  I would just walk and get in so close you couldn’t tell what I was photographing anymore. 

I took the “Keating Approach” to my life, my camera never left my hands.  It was like I was no longer me but it was my camera and me… We were joined at the eye piece.  I looked at everything with a different perspective.  Later I decided that since those around me would not take the advice of “Keating: then it was my job to do it for them and make sure they saw what I saw. This began my series titled “Walk a mile in my shoes”.

So who cared about looking at a kids toy, or the floor or a piece of chain differently?  They are just common every day objects?  I mean a piece of chain is just chain but what does it matter?  Well if you think about how important that chain is to others then you can see it’s importance… That simple piece of steel might just keep someone safe by keeping them out of a dangerous area.  It might be chain but it could save someone’s life.  That simple chain is very important.

As an artist we have a very important job, we can mold and change society without ever uttering a word.  We can create pieces of art that can move someone so much that life for them is never the same.  We can show how beautiful life is or how despicable our surroundings can be.  We can cause people to appreciate the things in life or become so disgusted by life that they decide they want to help make a difference, that they want to change things.  That is a powerful influence to have and one that no one should take lightly. 

I thank the gods every single time I go to work and I get to make a statement that may shake someone awake to notice something.  Some time I even receive emails or phone calls about how my work has touched someone.  Having someone tell you “I am very impressed. And more, I am so very touched. Your art is an extension of each of our souls. We go through life afraid of showing others who we really are. It's so very liberating to see someone willing, and able, to show us we are Ok just being who we are. Thank you.” can bring you to tears to your eyes.

Life should not just be rushing here there and everywhere.  We should not be constantly on the go.  We need to take to sit and look at life and what is all around us.  If we wont take the time then maybe someone should be out there showing us.  Art is a very powerful voice, it speaks differently to everyone but it does speak.  Not only does art speak but to some people it speaks louder than a southern black preacher at a small town revival… and that my friends is rather loud. 

It is time for me to let my voice ring loud again and work on more of my art.  Take time to listen because the next thing you know life will be gone and if you haven’t heard the voices then you were not listening hard enough

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