FLOWERS ALL TOGETHER HAPPY IN THEIR MEADOW my latest original painting but with a bit of a lovely difference. Its a Mural commissioned by Diaspora Arts and Education Charity- concept Art against Racism.
“In response to rising racism, particularly abhorrent graffiti targeting Peterborough’s diverse communities, we are a collective using the arts to promote unity and celebrate multiculturalism.
Our aim is to use arts and culture to transform the environment being targeted into a positive space that reflects the multicultural and multi-faith community we live in. We will run events that will empower the community and impact positively on all our daily lives by bringing a message of peace, respect and unity.” Diaspora Arts and Education Charity.
Its the biggest painting I have ever created and also amazingly the fastest ever too!! I am honoured and humbled to have been commissioned to create this painting in Peterborough where I have lived for many years and It is the first of what I hope is a number of paintings I will get to create as we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences. Art can also play a big part in that recovery as well as in racism and other issues.
So timely, with all that has been going on in the world (recently triggered by the death of George Floyd in America ) this project has been put together to counter some of the racist graffiti found on some streets that is offensive, frightening and just not acceptable to the vast majority of people in the country and in particular in this city in which we live. But also and much more positively the aim is to take action to brighten some of the cities walls with great paintings that make people smile and maybe just for a moment make them feel a little better about their day. That small smile or feeling of happiness gives a small boost of serotonin, the happy hormone that not only makes us feel happier but also can put us in our more intellectual part of the brain where we can make better decisions for ourselves and our community.
Art can stimulate our imagination as it opens the heart and mind to possibilities beyond our current experiences. It can enable us to day dream, shutting down our busy everyday minds and allowing us to heal and repair as heal, repair and find space to think and just be with our own thoughts.
We become more observant, noticing those tiny details and seeing things that we would not normally be aware of, thinking then of things we would not normally think of. It increases our problem solving skills because of those things I have just said-the space in the brain to think and solve issues for ourselves which stems from the neuroscience of trance or daydreaming where we can shut out all the stuff and find space to really think about what we want or what we need to do.
Art boosts the way we feel about ourselves- our self esteem and that of those around us and then in turn that of our community too. And it reduces stress a great impact that again goes wider than us as the individual.
You could see all of these great reasons in the many people stopping, commenting, cycling past and shouting or just standing in the space as we the artists in this project were working. They were commenting, trying to think deeply some of them about the meanings of the art being created or just enjoying it for the experience that it is-both equally valid by the way! Many were trying to relate the art to their experiences and telling us stories about themselves and their lives. And it shows that art can create a shared understanding and a space in which to share and communicate with others. It changes the story of a place and the people in that space. And as I stood there listening , talking, healing with others, creating and laughing a range of emotions washed through me and really that defines many peoples experience or understanding of racism. So many emotions positive and negative that can define individuals, communities and countries. I hope now is a turning point that will define us all for our time to come and into the future.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis
My painting which I have called FLOWERS ALL TOGETHER HAPPY IN THEIR MEADOW is how I would like to see the world- everyone regardless of the colour of their skin or their petals-happy living together in peace, fun and love. Many may see that as naive but I have always tried to see the positives in life and to take action towards that goal. It is better to believe in something and do do something than do nothing. The Rainbow is a moment in time of now but I have always seen a rainbow as bringing hope in the storm wherever I have seen them. They never fail to bring a smile to me, that feeling of colour in the darkest of grey storms.
“Life is about dancing in the rain while the sun sings its music and the rainbows deliver hope” Mimi Novic
The work has been created with the largest brushes I have ever used for my art along with some of my usual brushes, a lot of paint and a little glitter but lots of metallics which I hope will bring a shimmer and shine in the light above in the darkness of the night. Honestly I cannot believe how fast I painting this piece-about 7 hours- I would never spend so little time on a canvas. I wonder if I just wanted this work to be created fast, as we would love change to come fast I don’t know? I know it was intense, emotionally and physically and I am shattered today the day after- good only for writing this post which has flowed from my brain faster than I can type!
I really hope that is a beginning not only of a kinder, more tolerant and supportive, positive community but also of a city that embraces art with all the amazing benefits that come from being surrounded by incredible art created by the artists living here in the city of Peterborough. Our home.
“The best time for new beginnings is now.” Unknown
Thank you to Diaspora Art and Education Charity for inviting me to be a part of their latest project. Search for them on Facebook.
Other stunning paintings currently finished in The Taverners Road Underpass in Peterborough are by Nath Nice, Tony Nero and Karima Shah.
For more of my happy, colourful art of flowers and nature and blogs please see www.charronpugsleyhill.com