You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty – Mahatma Gandhi
Here is a quick recap on a recent work I completed. This was a conceptual installation with artist books. To read more about it please follow this link: https://www.christellepretoriusart.co.za/glass-houses-i/
People who live in Glass Houses shouldn’t throw stones; we shouldn’t criticize others for faults we own.
The glass house represents all of us and everything we keep hidden. We all remain closed books even though you may see through the glass and read the cover of the books, the essence lies hidden away. To really ‘see’ who people are, you need to take the step and break through, truly begin to know them. You need to find the right key to unlock them.
The emotions portrayed in the books are as seen by 6 primary school students. How they interpreted the emotions and colours associated with it. We did a few exercises together as a warm-up. Trying to pin which colours we associate with which emotions.
Seemingly transparent vessels, yet unsure of what really lies under the surface. We are all closed books locked in the glass houses we create for ourselves.
I chose primary school kids who are used to each other to insure they don’t compete. Also, students that’s not exposed to all the different social media portals. They are still just kids. They vary between Grade 1 and Grade 5.
So, I decided on 5 random emotions. Love. Anger. Sadness. Joy. Fear.
Anger did start out as Surprise, but after the morning, anger just seemed to fit the images better.
Love was done in soft watercolours, the students had to show how they interpret what love is. An idea started to take shape, where I combine the love images with quotes about love. To bring it all together I threaded 6 different colours of thread from one page to the other.
The Threads That Bind Us – the invisible threads of love that binds us all together.
What does the artist do? He draws connections. He ties the invisible threads between things. He dives into history, be it the history of mankind, the geological history of earth, or the beginning and end of the manifest cosmos – Anselm Kiefer
Fear became a star book. When you open it up, each page becomes a little theatre book. Beautifully showcasing each student’s fear. We used black paper with white and red coloured soft pastels. What makes it fascinating is how it folds open all the way and tell the stories of what nightmares are made off.
Sadness. Soft dripping images in colder, ‘sadder’ colours. Included in the book is soft words delicately placed on the pages. It is exhibited with tissues, just in case you are overwhelmed by a feeling of melancholy.
Joy is a high five with your friend, it’s bright happy colours. I had more and better plans for joy, but due to time constraints It is what it is. Take 5!!!
Anger, is an overwhelmingly eerie and silent book. That one step too far. That moment when a filter of absolute fury falls over your eyes, no concern for the consequences. None.
On the inside all books are different, on the outside you can barely distinguish between them. Open the book, go through the pages. Make an effort. Look people in the eye. Smile. We are all in this together. We are all closed books locked in the glass houses we create for ourselves.
Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it – Kevyn Aucoin