For as long as I remember, I have been fascinated by the infinitely varied ways in which life expresses itself. I find calmness and comfort in this, as well as joy. And knowing at the same time that we are each made of the same building blocks of matter makes me giddy! So questions of difference and connection naturally intrigue me.
Where do I end and where do you begin? How does my idea of myself influence how I treat or understand you? What spaces do we create between us, what borders do we construct, and what might the world be like if they were smaller?
Over the years, I have come to believe that the state of the world is a reflection of how we relate and treat each other. Every day we make choices that affect our own lives and the lives of others. These choices form our communities and societies, and ultimately determine our common destiny.
Today, we are increasingly interconnected with others whose appearance and behaviour look different to our own. How do we choose to relate to them? Do we open up to explore those differences and question our assumptions? Or do we isolate ourselves with others who are familiar, who dress and talk and think like us?
How too do we connect with the natural world? Do we believe that all expressions of life are fundamentally equal and indispensable? Or do we believe that we are entitled to manipulate the natural world as we please to meet our wants and needs?
So I ask myself: “What is my relationship to the world?” Can I see that the life in you is as precious as the life in me? Will this help transform some of the mental walls we build between us into bridges that connect us?
My art puzzles over such questions and sometimes just has fun expressing my enchantment with life.
There’s nothing in me that is not in everybody else,
and nothing in everybody else that is not in me. – James Baldwin