Connecting with Others! Where Art can make a Difference.

I find that making art and sharing it with others is an incredible way to find connection with my fellow humans. Working in the virtual world space of Second Life has offered amazing opportunities to see this at work and provided me with confirmation of just how art can make connections on levels that are much deeper than simply talking.

An example of a particular piece, that I created in Second Life that was an exploration of life in a dysfunctional family environment and home. The piece had no outwardly apparent literal signs of what the narrative of the piece was. I create a room that seemed typical as an apartments go. There was a chair, a hallway, a table, a closet with boxes and clothes. The only odd element was a ghostly figure of a girl standing and sitting that occasionally appeared at random.

I thought people would mistake it as some ghost story or something else than the narrative that I had in mind. However, I continued with being ambiguous and focused on colors and textures that somehow felt to me felt like a sad and dysfunctional space with bad memories. The title of the piece was simply Apartment 5B.

Apartment5b42011

 

As people from around the world visited this work virtually through their computers I was astonished at how often the piece was connecting with people and conveying the intended narrative. Some of the people never happened to see the ghostly girl that appeared randomly and still had the sense that a difficult the memories of a difficult family environment haunted the space. One person, who didn’t speak English and lived on the other side of the planet, shared with me that the piece made them think of their troubled childhood and that the piece made them feel as though someone else understood this as well. The resulting conversation, as short as it was, seemed to be very healing and comforting for both of us.

Experiences like this that have weaved their way through my life of making art often leads me to wondering about how people could find and make connections with others that they perceive as being  different.

I often wonder if we couldn’t make the world a fundamentally better place if each of us found the value in being surrounded by diversity. What if people saw the act of reaching out and meeting people that seemed different as important as eating healthy, being a productive citizen, and the other array of values  of our society? I think intentionally embracing diversity would do more good for our world than any of those other values.

Below I am adding some links to other examples of finding ways for people to connect, get past differences, see we are all in this together, see that our differences are small in comparison to what we share, and maybe somehow make more room for acceptance in peoples hearts. Along with these, go to a art museum or gallery, see a play, maybe a dance production, the ways to find true connection and see through another eyes are all there to explore and cherish. We need to hunger for this.

Hope all this will inspire you to find a way to connect and make our world a better place.

 

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