THE PROCESS OF PEACE


PAULA PHILLIPS

Politics
Mixed Media/Canvas
2008

Politics: Political Prisoner
Mixed Media on Canvas with Hand-sewn Canvas Assemblages
2008

peace, pes, n. [ < O.Fr. pais (Fr. Paix), <L. pax, pacis. peace - root pac.] A state of quiet or tranquility; calm, quietness, or repose; freedom from war or hostility; a cessation of hostilities; absence of strife; tranquility of mind, harmony; serenity; public tranquility and order - at peace, in a tranquil state; in a state of harmony, - hold or keep one's peace, to be quiet. (p. 737, New Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, 1971, the Delair Publishing Company, Inc.)

pol-i-tics, pol'i-tiks, n. pl., sing. Or pl. in constr. [Fr. Politique, Gr. Politike.] The science of government; political science; the policies and aims of a government of a nation or state; the conduct and contests of political parties; political affairs; political connections or beliefs of a person; the plotting or scheming of those seeking political power, glory, or position, or the like. (p. 696, New Webster's Dictionary of the English Language, 1971, the Delair Publishing Company, Inc.)

Interesting, isn't it, how these two words - peace and politics - have the potential to be simultaneously synchronistic and antithetical in definition. Even the likenesses of the page numbers give me pause for thought. As an artist whose focus is activism and social justice, I think about the two - peace and politics - on a daily basis.

My art works to embrace my experiences in and perceptions of working with people of 'community'. Some of my works begin as portraits of 'states of being' that present actual scenarios and the need to change existing dynamics. Some are visual renditions of abstract thoughts that represent form, color, and movement because the core issue remains inexplicable. Others are visual and spiritual offerings from chance meetings or deliberate encounters and observations of and within distinct or obtuse environments. Perhaps just as many are the haunting products of brief, yet profound experiences that have become life-changing events. Some works portray evolutionary and revolutionary concepts that remain in that peculiar state of flux that is necessary to achieve personal growth - personifications of the "human experiences" in human form. Regardless as where the content and/or context is derived, it appears as though the choice to evolve, or not, to higher levels of thinking remains constant.

The body of work entitled "Politics: ..." are components of an ongoing, expanding body of visual art work that represent and define my community arts experiences within a mixed media discipline. This body has been in-progress since 1997 and offers a personal, visual arts journal that re-presents in art form, select aspects of my involvements in community engagement initiatives and the resultant critical inquiry and critique that intersects with, questions and probes political and social issues that I feel are relevant to and active within our city, state, country and planet.

It is my intent that the "Politics: ..." series be an instrument that provokes critical thought and concerned, sincere dialogue in favor of 'peace' and general well being. The works are intended to provide opportunities for viewers' personal reflections upon pertinent issues that effect us all today - each of us, in every walk of life, whether Baltimore or the world-at-large. It is my hope that the works, when given consideration, have the potential to prick our consciousness and deepen our awareness regarding inequities that are clear and present as well as those that are obscure, ultimately provoking an onslaught of positive deeds that, when enacted, have the ability to better equalize, and thus improve, our overall quality of life.

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