“The purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved. ” Kurt Vonnegut
This quote accurately sums up what I am exploring as an artist when I decide on a site for my LOVE art installations. I created this experience on English Bay in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This is a lovely public beach and walkway near the famous Stanley Park. It’s a picturesque public space where locals and tourists commune with nature. It’s a very popular place to go to for culture, leisure and social gatherings. There’s a lot of love that happens here naturally so it is an inspiring place for me to share the work.
The story expressed by this installation is all about the beauty of spring for me. This is the season of wonder and awe. Nature is in its perfect state of glory. That is the feeling I am after in this work. Our collective narrative around springtime is one that reminds us of rebirth and renewal. This is a time for nurturing the fresh shoots of our inner life. It’s a gentle time and one in which we can experience new growth of spirit. For me, spring is about cultivating greater personal awareness. It is a season of awakening all around us.
By placing the LOVE letters in this site, I hope to offer the passer-by an aesthetic experience that may conjure up an emotional response that is both positive and nurturing. Hopefully, the person who encounters this work will perhaps be surprised. Isn’t it interesting how we need to be distracted from our many distractions in order to really pay attention. My aim is to make people curious and to engage them in some conceptual thinking around the work.
Simplicity is sometimes the gateway to accessibility. We rarely get opportunities in our digital and technologically obsessed world to really experience spontaneous moments of curiosity. Finding the work here in the tulips is a way of making people consider the intangible. There is an invisible energy of love that connects us all. I offer a simple moment, to those open to such things, to feel a sense of inner connection. The art of love in all its beauty is resonating with them.
There is a very conscious effort on my part as an artist to help viewers make a connection between the art piece and themselves. Love can be such a difficult notion to express or experience socially. I think the work in a way facilitates this because the art itself assumes the necessary state of vulnerability. It breaks down this barrier we sometimes have to experience love.
The response to the installation work is incredible every time. People are attracted to the word art. Visitors take pictures of themselves and their companions. They interact with the work and the artist and document their experience through their own creative act. This reinforces my message of creativity and I watch them become the artist. They are fully attentive to the work and I step back and observe. I give them the space to do their own creative process. It’s a very fulfilling experience for me as an artist and I really enjoy the conversations that result from sharing the work in public spaces. It’s all about connecting and fostering supportive relationships.
Creativity is ultimately a process that facilitates self-actualization. Here, the viewers are making images that in turn help them create their own narrative of their experience. Our culture doesn’t teach us how to create meaning in our lives. We have lost touch of this essential skill. Our sense of fulfillment is deeply rooted to our ability to make sense of our lives. This is the true power of story and personal narrative. We feel a chronic sense of void or lack when we are without meaningful personal narrative. Creativity is what helps us transcend ourselves.