art as healing

NOW by Jennifer Davey

Life Death Life, 2105. Oil and chalk on panel, 48 x 48 in. Jennifer Davey  all rights reserved

Abstract painting is often labeled as dead, zombie-like, or irrelevant. I can see nothing further from the truth. Painting provides a physical field in which to actively transform consciouness, connect the divine with the everyday, and find lessons in how to be human in the 21st century when all collective guiding cultural myths lie in shatters around our feet. How does one stand up from the rubble of myths, old dogmatic religions, out-date ways of perceiving, and learn to live in accord with the rest of humanity as a resposible steward of planet earth?  

By scanning Facebook, of course. 

I woke up this morning, getting ready my day, filled with self-satisfaction about my art opening tonight. Friends were invited, outfit was selected. A little morning coffee, Facebook and some studio time.  What else was needed for a day already slated to be great? Then I watched Jon Stewart's reponse to the South Carolina shootings. I cried. There was so much truth in what he said. And I felt so humbled, and then driven. I know that art has incredible powers to transform. It has transformed my life completely. It brings together opposites. It allows me to talk to and come to peace with my shadow. It teaches me how to live. And yet, all that has been very personally focused. And listening to Stewart's words reminded me of what tremendous pain and violence exists in America because of racism and ignorance.  And that although art can by no means fix everything in one broad brush stroke, I can think of no other tool so deftly capable of transforming the heart of a human being. So this morning, Facebook. or more accurately, Jon Stewart, reminded me that it is my desire to do everything in my power to use art to transform hate into love, shadow into the light. It is my desire to bring myself and others into accord, learning to live in this home that is ours, planet earth, and this country that I am lucky enough to call home, America. I am very much looking forward to tonight, but more to my return to the studio to face and touch these very big problems of ignorance, hate, violence, that will not go away until we understand, love, and integrate them.  Thank you Jon Stewart for speaking truth.