To be honest, Valentine's Day feels like more of a "Hallmark" event than anything. However, maybe it's worthwhile to stop and think about this for a moment.
Perhaps it's a sign that I'm getting old, or maybe just a small infusion of wisdom is creeping into my head, but on days that are designated as "special," I like to look back and think about where we've been and where we might be heading. To this end, I was looking at some pictures of pieces that I've done in the past that have gone on to new homes. Two of them jumped out at me as appropriate for thinking about today.
Both deal with apocalyptic themes. One is about the six women that Robert Pickton was convicted of murdering on his pig farm. I titled it "Remember" and included photos of each of the women which I printed on sheer fabric and floated over the piece--they are there, but not there. Whether one of those six or any of the many, many other women who have died violent deaths, they all had families who cared about them. Friends who miss them. Strangers who think about them and wonder why it had to be the way it was. This piece now lives in the learning centre of the Women's Information Safe Haven in Vancouver, B.C. which gives me a very deep pride.
The other piece was a commission to depict the story of Noah's Ark. I was reluctant to undertake this as this story conjures up images of sweet and roly poly animals frolicking onto a happy little boat. You know the ones, they often find themselves in babies rooms. As it turned out, the patron wanted a piece that showed the story for what it is--the threat of the end of the world. I chose to portray it as a trilogy as there are three distinct stories there, the threat, the voyage and the renewal.This piece, the last I heard, is living in Mexico.
For me, the message these two pieces are bringing today is that while life can be hard, and not all is beautiful, there are many spots of brilliant beauty in the love and caring of those around us; in the details. We all have something to offer and are worthy of receiving goodness.