Artist, Educator, Activist

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My studio

My studio has been a sacred place to me over the past few months. And 'sacred' is literal. It has been a place where I meet God. Because God is found in the interactions between me and the physical 'stuff' through which I move. God/catharsis for me is found in becoming one with matter. For me this is painting. And don't get me wrong, I can't say that I am aware of God every time I pick up a brush, but I do believe God meets me in and through the act of manipulating matter into something which I deem appropriate. 

It seems to me that this is why carpenters, masons, and constructions workers are so satisfied with what they do. They are involved in the process of creation. Even if they have a blueprint and do not participate in conceptualization, they at least get to actualize something. They get to be involved in the process of bringing something previously in-existent into existence. 

There is also lot to be said for carving out space in modern society simply to play. What is play? It is a process of trying things out and of being open to mistakes. There are no consequences in play. It is a sphere where actions do not have gravity. Play is characterized by lightness. 

Why is play valuable? Because it gives humans a place to experiment without external pressure. It is safe to try things in play. But play also prepares us for situations that do have high stakes. When the pressure is on, play helps us to react. 

 

Andrew Manning