Friday, 15 December 2017

ADVENT GIFT - Intimacy

Available at Daily Paintworks
I read an article recently showcasing the work of artist Ashley Cassens. Ashley paints extraordinarily intimate portraits in large format. See her work at ashleycassens.com  At one point she says 

In my own studio practice I need to make paintings that feel like writing a letter. As a millennial that is constantly connected, I long for spaces where I can disconnect and have a sensory experience.”

I don’t have much to do with millennials as my neice and nephew live away, so I find this statement an interesting insight into their world. Since the beginning of the internet age I’ve been concerned about the void in personal contact it creates. I watch as young people go for lunch or drinks and spend the whole time texting, they dont even speak to their companions. This applies to dates as well, in fact I have a theory they are texting each other. When they figure out how to have sex and babies without any intimacy I reckon they will be overjoyed. 


Metaphysically I’ve heard that spirits visit because they no longer have a physical body and crave the contact. As a touchy feely person, I gain great comfort and intimacy from a simple hug or even linking arms when crossing a street. In sales training I learned that human beings crave intimacy and a simple smile or even touching their hand while giving change, increases their pleasure in the purchase and they will return for more of that experience. So I’m fascinated by this tiny glimpse of how it feels to live in a totally cyber social world.

Luckily in our local Art community we socialise regularly at demos, classes and openings. Artists are solitary animals and I think we all enjoy getting out and getting out of ourselves for a while. This is me with Artist Cherie Hanson at an art auction. In my building we are also a friendly bunch, we keep an eye out for each other, often chat in the corridors and wave when we pass in the parking lot: We are largely single people, but it’s a community.

So, your Advent challenge today is to make a point of creating an intimate moment with a stranger. Smile at an old lady, help someone with their groceries, open a door for someone with packages, speak to someone in an elevator. Heck why stop at one day, lets aim for doing it the rest of the month, it could become a habit!