"Beauty For Ashes"
Oct 12-18, 2021
The central theme and title:
"Beauty for Ashes" is inspired from Isaiah 61:3 “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”.
Many people have asked, "...but what does it mean, beauty for ashes?" In the simplest terms, I believe it means that we can make a choice to give up our sadness and disappointment in order to embrace the beauty and joy that life has to offer. But the choice has to made consciously, and with conviction... and, by taking some responsibility. Even seemingly small, but thoughtful, incremental changes can make a positive difference.
While planning the collection I pondered the circumstances in which we now find ourselves. Despite our differences, we have become more connected. I believe that letting go of the things that no longer serve will free us to embrace a better life. During a life coaching session, many years ago, one participant asked, "When do we let go of things?" Our coach replied, "when it becomes too painful to hold on." Yes, that made sense. But having lived through many other difficulties, I would offer ...that we're also able to let go when we know there are other possibilities.
For me, it has become a very conscious leap of faith. I like to see a picture in my mind's eye. When my business coach asked about the exhibition concept, theme, I replied "...it's going to be a PINK show." Even in my tiny studio, the colours have done their magic. My focus on this exhibition has provided a buoyancy throughout the past year and a half, of which I am very happy.
My choice to create rather than grumble about things I had no control over was a good one. Such choices are a daily occupation, each taken in its own time. I think about how the sun sets. It takes it's own time. I am greatly reassured by that simple fact, ...especially when things around us get very bizaare.
The visual thread:
While traditionally thought to have a soft and feminine feeling, the colour pink also inspires hope, is healing and symbolizes compassion. Pink is a good choice for our times. It is for this reason I decided to make "pink" the thread running through this collection of lovely peony paintings. The pink peony paintings I am presenting in this exhibition provide the perfect foil against a backdrop of events that encircle our societies worldwide as we navigate this uncharted territory. Hopefully my work will provide a respite and even restoration, for you the viewer, as you move through each moment toward kinder and gentler days.
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