A Gift of Art, in Love
Art, for me, is the act of manifestation of gifting love. I have learnt to hear poetry everywhere. I hope you do too. ONE VOICE is a community art project, a GlaxoSmithKline-charKOL production, for and with the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore).
Beth, my daughter, is my biggest cheerleader in this journey, and my most astute sage:
“Love is bigger than the Universe,” says Beth. “How did you know that?” I gasped. “Because that’s how my much I love Keith,” says Beth. “If love is so big, where is love?” asks the ignorant Mummy who couldn’t see how the Universe can contain something bigger than itself. “Love is everywhere, of course!” says Beth, with a how-can-you-not-see-the-obvious look. We had this conversation when Beth was 5 years old, within just a year after the birth of Keith.
What artforms are we making?
I don’t know. We won’t be able to name and recognise it until later. All I know is I am to collect 10,000 voices singing “One Voice” by Barry Manilow. I do feel a total communication documentary and a music album brewing. But the focus is the song and for everyone to sing with “reckless abandon”. It is an art project that would enable 10,000 hearts to breakthrough all our natural resistance to singing by recording our own voices and to hear it playback. The story is how and why each of us took the first step to arrive at singing for a fellow human being.
ONE FRIDAY, our first community art project for inclusion, started with just a vision of a slideshow and we ended up with a DVD of 10 videos and 5 podcasts, a website, a blog , a twitter, and 3 paintings. It was making art that had transported us to a new place of hope and possibility. The artforms that we can finally hold and touch and grasp are records or documentation of that journey.
So, once again, with ONE VOICE, we’re making art that is yet another portal, a gateway to new possibilities and new vantage points. It’s difficult to tell what shape, size, or colour such a portal would come in. Until we’ve arrived, we won’t be able to know it. And when we’ve arrived, we can finally look back and see the map of that travel. And see the vehicle with which we took. And to be able to hold our art “in the palm of our hands for an hour”. William Blake (1757-1827) arrived through a poem, “Auguries of Innocence”, and today, nearly 200 years later, we can still marvel at that portal and travel through it back and forth:
To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
ONE VOICE: Another Buddy Walk of Sorts
September 24, 2011