I love when the MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery hosts open calls for local artists. It gives me a goal, a theme and project to take risks with - a safe place to keep pushing my limits. The current exhibition is "Il Ritratto", an exploration of the human portrait. I play with ideas, drawing rough outlines in my sketchbook as I let the theme percolate. And very often I will allow lessons I am learning in my life to influence the direction of my pieces. When this call came out I had been thinking a lot about how connected we all are - even though we work hard to be independent. Although it is rather counter to our culture, we would be much better off if we relied on one another, working together as many individuals, united together.
As I explored how I wanted to approach the human portrait, I ended up focusing in on this concept of many individuals working as one unit. I chose to deconstruct the portrait with each part representing an entire person, exploring this concept of interdependence.
If the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them,
just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?
As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it;
if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
(1 Corinthians 12:16-26)
I am thankful and blessed to have my work included in this exhibition. The fantastically eclectic show is on now at the gallery until August 22nd. Be sure to check it out the next time you're at Mac Island!