Letter to Artists, Thinkers, Creatives...

2 Apr 2011

Dear Fellow Artists, Thinkers, Creatives

Recent events lead me to write this post to you.

 

I write in the shadow of having been turned down for another job post, add it to the list of grants/jobs/opportunities that were not offered to me. That said I am not surprised.

 

I have often been referred to as ‘the wild card’ in the context of my life/practice. My response to that is, shouldn’t ALL artists be wild cards? Like flowers in the spring, trees which bring oxygen (inspiration) and rivers sustenance. That is wild, and that is good.

 

I have come to the realization that we’ve made a big mistake in the arts. We’ve ‘bought’ into the notion that we can have the cart without the horse, when in actual fact it is the other way around.

The ‘horse’? Well that is our engine, our core; it’s what drives us through our lifetime to express, to connect, and to create.

 

In working with nursery children (still wild) I am reminded of this untrammelled, pure and authentic expression.

 

Yet somehow in the developing market economy we’ve been brainwashed to believe that for an artistic experience to be ‘real’ it needs to be boxed for the selling.

 

Now our ‘boxes’ are being threatened – our funding agencies and educational establishments and the like. And whilst I have benefited from both of these (and this is not a criticism of them in and of themselves), I also am hyper aware they were never enough. And that they – as establishments – were not what brought them success.

 

We must not allow the creative forces that exist within everyone of us to stop. The world needs it.

The world needs you. It needs your wild, abundant, beautiful creative spirit and energy.

 

Your challenge is to find a way to let that live.

 

And it is absolutely critical.

 

I am reminded of an exhibition I attended in Berlin some years ago of contemporary Iraqi art. It showed films, photographs and documentation in the decades prior to the repressive regime change.

First thing to go? Intellectuals and Artists. Those individuals who question, challenge, remind, connect. The erosion of these individuals and ideas was slow and pervasive. First by economics, then by force, then by death. We see the same formula in Afghanistan, Iran and Cambodia.

 

But it need not be so. We are at an early stage yet. And we still have many opportunities to CREATE change. Lest we forget Gandhi similarly changed a nation.

 

If we can all look inside ourselves to compassionately and artistically live our vision, to share and lighten the world – we not only save ourselves but future generations.

 

And as we experience external hardship, find ways to expand internally, discovering the real meaning of the word ‘generosity’- which means ‘humanity’.

 

And note I write to you in the shadow of my own challenges, the bank is in the process of trying to re-possess my home rendering me homeless.

 

During World War II the Finance Minister asked Winston Churchill if they should cut funding to the arts in order to contribute more to the war effort.

 

Churchill famously replied ‘then what are we fighting for’?

 

Indeed Winston, indeed….

 

Lots of love,

Kate E. xxxx

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