Monday, October 26, 2009

St. Damien - Artobiography

Art is no more than a collection of pigments arranged as the artist finds useful to convey his intentions. Art at the lower end simply conveys feelings, a girl on a beach or a tranquil river. But to me, at the higher end, art must aspire to do more. The best art has always informed and challenged. Some of the greatest shapers of our societies in the past have been artists who spoke out through their medium. Artobiography is the style I have developed to do precisely that, a form of mixed media where documents and words are layered onto a canvas and then sealed before over painting with oils.
When asked to create an art piece on Damien, I immediately decided that the piece should not be painted with soft hues, for there is nothing soft about leprosy, Molokai or the life Fr Damien lived. So the paint strokes were often delivered with edges and hard areas which do not try to gently mix with their surroundings. For that reason I chose to paint the older weathered Fr Damien rather than the softer images of him as a younger man. Fr Damien had hard edges as the letter penned by Robert Louis Stevenson indicates and as an artist I have not tried to romanticise him but rather to present him as the raw hard edged hero and Saint he was. Of course no man lives as an Island and the story of words behind the face seek to articulate the larger story. Sections of Robert Louis Stevenson’s letter are included, pieces about Fr Damien, the Island of Molokai and then other spurious pieces I put together regarding the disease of leprosy, its treatment and a call for us to de-stigmatise leprosy now.
Leprosy is easily curable today and no one should die of it, yet many do. The problem with leprosy is that it is located in underdeveloped countries. If the occasional celebrity were to contract leprosy its profile would be raised and soon the funding would be assigned to eliminate it altogether. But worst of all is the attached stigma it carries. This ignoble attachment has now been assigned to many suffering from AIDS, as though the disease were not enough. This painting speaks of bigotry, hate and ignorance and as an artist I am encouraged that this latest humanitarian effort by Don Mullan will help bring relief to those suffering from AIDS in South Africa through the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation. Too often HIV/AIDS sufferers experience the very same bigotry, hatred, ignorance and ostracisation that Fr Damien and the lepers of Molokai experienced. Just as the message in this painting is about de-stigmatising leprosy – so for AIDS today. Let us de-stigmatise AIDS now. A variety of conventional and artobiographical art pieces may be viewed on the artist’s website
Rev. Keith Drury
Limited edition of 100 prints available. Each signed and numbered by the artist.
Size A2 (490 x 594 mm)
Price: Framed - £245
Unframed - £195 (pp included)
For postal reasons it is best shipped unframed.
Purchase online or contact artist directly:
Mobile: 44 (0) 78 6633 9920
Tel: 44 (0) 28 91811191

No responsibility or liability shall attach itself to either myself or to the blogspot ‘Mozlink’ for any or all of the articles/images placed here. The placing of an article does not necessarily imply that I agree or accept the contents of the article as being necessarily factual in theology, dogma or otherwise.

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