The power of art
words by Kit
I think a lot about how change comes about in my behaviour, and how to promote it in others, especially with regard to environmental issues. I notice that going to lectures, hearing a talk on radio, doing a workshop, while stimulating at the time, may often not take hold in a deeper way, and leaves me somehow unchanged. This is not what we want, in a world where it is urgent that we make big shifts in the way we see what is happening, and act on them, with others. So when something does pierce the shell of inertia, it stands out.
This occurred whilst strolling along the cliffs between Bondi and Bronte this week, among the Sculptures by the Sea. Using the physical surrounds, artists have erected many wonderful installations, (some incorporating rubbish commonly found on coastal walks; some transforming a landform or piece of infrastructure into an artistic frame; some placing shapes or figures in the landscape with special effect.)
The piece that caught my eye is a large head (of a vertical man) submerged into the beach at Tamarama, with the neck, chin and mouth buried in the sand, hidden from sight. What we see is the nose, the eyes and the rest of the top of the head. The mouth is covered (and below ground level) but the eyes say it all: out on stalks with terror, and cowering behind spectacles, as the lenses are filling up with water from below. The water level is rising and no bodily movement is possible.
Such an eloquent image, so succinct and comprehensive in its communication.
Being a wordy person, I move to articulate what it means to me…
We are stuck – or buried – in our lives, our realities. We have become so submerged that (or is it because) we have lost the power to speak to save ourselves. The signs are there that the world around us is being threatened by environmental change, yet we are impotent and don’t do anything about it. The look of terror in the eyes brings it home and holds up a mirror. Only my mouth is not covered; I still have time to speak. What might hold me back is the stuff of another blog piece!
I love your take on this artwork Kit!