Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Art as social commentary

Getting into the realm of creating painting as social commentary is something I have been struggling with. My interest lie in the realm of spirituality, and the inability of individuals to truly accept other spiritual practices. I believe it is the reason fol lack of cohesiveness here as a people. Granted, there is an outward show of acceptance, but at home, in families; the indirect messages that are sent out are laced with fear and suspicion.

I hear it when christian-faith based individual get together and comment about blood sacrifice in Orisa, or passing candles on a hike. The condescending manner, the invitation to condemn, the idea hovering in the air that somehow these practices are wrong. The pastor blaming other religious practices for the crime situation and lack of direction in the youth. The reluctance to learn and to understand.

But I know that art as social commentary will also set the artist up for ridicule. People hate to see themselves in an unflattering light. Getting exhibition space would be hell.....

There is so much to say...but people would not want to hear it. Oh....who cares....gonna do it anyway. Time to wake people up a bit.

Spirit Flight was done as a motivational painting when I felt the walls of other people expectations and ideas closing around me. It was an attempt to free myself from limiting beliefs. It worked......but the limiting beliefs are still experienced by me everyday. Everyday I see people wrestling with concepts and ideas and debating and judging constantly, and keeping themselves locked in their minds, peering out their eyes with fear. Don't they know that that fear-based reality is self induced? Can't they free themselves from it. Not if they are not aware it is there.

To illustrate what I mean by Art as social commentary, this image is a good example. The center shows the child who became a poster girl for the nuclear bombing in the Second World War. Imagine her running naked down a road with burns. Imagine her emotions of raw pain, fear confusion. She was only ten years old.

Do you see the irony of her being held by Mickey and Ronald MacDonald? Everything's alright honey. When you were screaming in pain, our children were screaming with joy.

Brings to mind the situation in Africa triggered by the west's desire for Playstation. There were children dying in the mines, for children in the West to play video games.

Back to the issue though. Do you think our nation is ready to see themselves? Do you think they are ready to have their eyes opened?


Anonymous said...

nobody is ever ready for that... but it is always a good thing.

Mark said...

Actually, the image of the little girl was extracted from a famous photograph of a napalmed village in the Vietnam war. Her clothes were burned right off her body, if I remember correctly.
Nice piece of art, though