By Tia Chianti Richardson
Last month I was asked to submit a piece of art for an exhibition in Milwaukee called ‘Stages of Art’. The exhibition has a theme of showcasing performers with ties to Milwaukee. After much procrastination, because I felt the theme was pretty dry, with not much left to the imagination or to be inspired by, I remembered that I have long had a deep appreciation for Goddess images and portraiture. Maybe I could twist the theme a little bit to bring out the Goddess quality! So, I chose to draw Naima Adedapo – a Milwaukeean I know and top 11 finalist on the tenth season of American Idol. I wanted to show a side of Naima that not many people get to see. People who see her perform are used to being carried by her buoyant voice and spectacular dance, but she is also a very down-to-earth and grounded person connected with the natural world.
Fitting with the theme of ‘Goddess,’ I’ve been reflecting on the quality of Beauty. I’d like to share some recent reflections connected with my artwork.
…that beauty gives voice to humanity’s aspiration to the divine… That beauty is a particular quality expressed by the divine. But Why? For what Purpose?
Perhaps to awaken consciousness… To recall a sense of order, of harmony… Beauty gives us a sense of being ‘held’ by something bigger than us – “It is bigger than I,” we remember.
In beauty we sense a reflection of the Divine that is a mirror for some aspect of a state for which we are striving. Note that we don’t naturally ‘strive’ for chaos. Even though chaos is a natural part of life, we find ourselves in it and of it, but yet and still beauty takes up its residence somewhere, and we are called to it, and it takes many different forms, just as chaos takes many different forms… but it certainly transforms chaos. To experience beauty amidst a state of chaos is transforming.
I don’t feel so much that I show the chaos in my paintings. I wonder sometimes if I should strive to do that more. To show the struggle that humanity goes through to get to a more beautiful (harmonious) place. To show more of a balance, because life is not perfect. I believe life is going to be chaotic, on the outside, but inside we can achieve a state of harmony with that chaos, through beauty. I suppose my work is more a reflection of that inner state than anything else.
To see more of my work, please visit my website: http://www.cosmicbutterfly.com