When I can, I try to channel intense emotions into something whole, something positive and creative...as a catharsis and
a way to survive and get to the other side,
alive and whole.
At times, world events seem removed from us and we listen and empathize, but remain somehow a little removed from it (perhaps as an unconscious survival mechanism).
But at other times, such events hit us hard and right in the heart and gut. At such times, we cannot look away or try to pretend not to feel or be affected. At such times, we are deeply affected and we sometimes take action - in our own way.
Painting through pain or the confusion of life or world events is not one of my favorite activities, but must be done...
The attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 were personal…, but I could not bring myself to paint it specifically, although I am certain that some elements of my shock or pain were infused into subsequent months' paintings. How could one not be affected, changed...?
|Elaine Weiner-Reed (EWR) - "Chaos Circling"|
The fact is, I am not really sure why this time, the Nice attack on 14 July 2016, was different… Why did I feel compelled this time to grab my paints and pull out the largest canvas I had and begin capturing my thoughts and feelings on canvas? Perhaps it was so personal this time because I had spent a few weeks in Nice in September 2015. While I was there, I had met and made a new friend - a woman who lives very near the Promenade des Anglais. Although she and her friends are fine physically, she/they will never be the same...
All I do know for sure is that I was absolutely driven to paint...to come to terms with it in some way. I stood before that large canvas as my mind splintered with scenes of what it must have felt like beforehand during the opening, joyful festivities...and then later, in the seconds and hours following the devastating attack. Something (my Muse perhaps) drove me to paint, turning my emotions into expressive, iconic human figures. I began exploring and transforming color and painting through my own feelings of loss, turmoil, and pain. My heart echos their pain...
I want my painting to be a reflection of universal sorrow, representing a cry for peace, a call to our core and common threads of humanity - threads that I hope and pray are still present in our world. Their loss is my loss – our loss. Their tears, the tears of humanity and civilizations. Every drop of ugliness and violence spilled in our world touches each of us…and our children.
These people remain in my heart. ...as do the victims and families of the December 2016 Berlin Market attack...and as do people everywhere who are touched by loss. United we stand.
Et pour en parler en Français un moment :
Yours in Art,