Oshilaja Hemsley Art Blog
This painting was created in pure abstract expressionist tradition of facing a blank "canvas" (in my case, acid-free paper) and painting for the process, massaging the pastels into the paper, and allowing whatever needed to be expressed to surface. The result was colours of the season and colours that light up a symbolic christmas tree.
Hallelujah! As soon as December days hit the 27th/28th, I feel the weight of this season__™s madness lifting and all around me is awashed with a new energy, making me keen and ready for the New Year and all the goodness I know it__™s going to bring. It__™s as if my whole body heaves a huge sigh of relief!
I__™ve never understood Christmas. Even though folks have been telling me for years tis the season to be jolly, it__™s always been dreary sludge. I do, however, love the wintery days and nights, and the energy of closure___wrapping up warm with loved ones snuggled up close and retreating until the days begin to get longer and lighter. For me, tis the season to decide what to take into the new year, and what to leave behind. Tis the season to focus on Love and Light, and sometimes, that does not include family. Tis the season to nurture what__™s important and what__™s not. Tis the season to drop remnants of baggage and clear out all waste, both emotional and physical.
This year, I listened to many friends who moaned, groaned and whined at how they had survived the trolley rages in the supermarkets, the car park rages in the malls, how they would be spending the actual day of feasting, sitting at a table with people they really did not like, making polite conversation___ how they had spent money they did not have on people they really did not care for, how even though they were grown ups, they would be reduced to children in the eyes of their relatives, and how, as all this happened only once a year, they would summon up the strength to go through a ritual that they saw as ___having no choice__™. I asked ___Why?___ and was summarily dismissed as not understanding any of it with my ___artistic temperament___.
As we were chatting, Nitin Sawhney__™s wonderful piece of music " The Conference - sprang to mind. I love this piece as it evokes for me the sound of the way we sometimes talk to each other " the sound of people speaking in many tongues, and not necessarily relating or listening. It™s a conversation of notes bouncing back and forth, starting off as a jumble and evolving into its own rhythm, thereby becoming a piece of music that™s hypnotic, mesmerising, and falling into an unconscious pattern. It conjures up imagery of what used to happen at many of my Christmas dinner tables. This year, I decided to simply stop the madness. I had peace. And lots of smiles and belly laughs with people I cared about, and who cared about me. There was good food. No waste. Good music, song, wine, dance, and real conversations. Lots of hugs, and kind, loving words. It__™s the beginning of new patterns, and something to take into the new year. Happy New Year! Yay!