Last week the Exchange Gallery asked me if I would reconfigure the light installation I made for them in 2007 to reflect the national colours of the Ukraine. I was happy to do this. We live on a small, peaceful and beautiful peninsula in West Cornwall but the suffering and human cost of war breaks my heart.
I believe to feel free and to feel safe and at peace is the light all life on earth is looking for. Listening to the news about Ukraine I feel this light being extinguished and a descent into darkness.
For me there is an essential experience of light that reflects an inner spirit of freedom, of weightlessness, of feeling very small and insignificant in an infinite universe. It’s a feeling with delicate radiant form, a fragile luminous construction of peace, hope and love. I especially experience it in the landscape watching light bounce between the sky and sea. It fills me with a light of joy and happiness that comes from feeling free to experience, dance and embrace the world without fear or restriction.
It’s not political or religious, it’s personal.
For me darkness is everything that is happening today in Ukraine. It is aggression, intolerance, authoritarianism and a blindness to causing suffering.
It’s everything that light isn’t.
Light as experienced by humans is a response to electrical stimulation of the visual cortex interpreted through memory, imagination, experience, and emotion. It gives colour, form and meaning to the beautiful world we live in.
It is not a vision of reality.
It’s a wonderful ambiguous illusion designed to keep us safe, happy and help make sense as we negotiate through the chaos of life and the universe.
It is not an authoritarian language to create a prison house of meaning or war.
My wish is that light brings joy and freedom to the human spirit, a gift of illumination for peace and an end to this suffering