A few months back I began working on a couple of studies for an eventually larger piece called The West Bank Lovebirds.
The ideas for the works aren't a comment specifically about the troubles in the Middle East, they are a comment about war in a much broader sense. But they are inspired very much by the huge wall that divides Israel and Palestine.
I think it would take someone who really and truly has their head in the clouds to not know about the new wave of extreme violence occurring there at the moment. The war is ongoing, and the argument from both sides of 'we'll only stop firing rockets when they stop' is alarming and distressing as it appears to show no end. It ironically shows both sides coming from the same place, to destroy human life in the name of not wanting to be the one who puts up the white flag,
On the various social networking groups I am part of (mostly Facebook and Twitter) there is no shortage of opinions and emotions to be found in relation to this war. There are people saying they hope it's not WW3, some desperately defending the side they have an alliance with, and lots of people adding to the anger with sweeping judgements on both sides of the wall, many questioning the politics of all the other nations somehow involved, and many people just simply questioning 'what is it all about?'.
To me this wall represents something that happens between humans on a daily basis on many different levels. Casting sweeping judgements in anger on a personal level or from afar is akin to putting up walls and creating barriers between us and a peaceful existence. The fighting has to stop EVERYWHERE.
People all over need to stop fighting over who is right and who is wrong and put human life over pride, land, religion and history. If Israel and Palestine manage to find peace imagine what a path that could create for conflicting countries and individuals everywhere.
I'm not suggesting it will be easy, internal struggles, struggles in personal relationships, struggles with our own governments and politics show how complex these issues are. But when it is an issue about our own humanity to one another what other answers are there?
To me the image of the lovebirds on the West Bank wall is to show it is only us who does this to each other. We put up the barriers and create the wars. Nature doesn't see the wall or even care about it. Two lovebirds could quite easily land on this wall and overcome it's significance without realising it. In a way the significance of the wall becomes insignificant when love overcomes it.
I know this is a very obvious statement to make (I'm guessing some will see it as naive or ignorant), but I wouldn't have guessed that from reading all the Facebook updates and twitterings of personal opinions. Sometimes when things are so obvious we overlook them, and I think to show love and be vulnerable takes a lot more strength than to fight and stay angry.
So here is my first study for West Bank Lovebirds. I'll be pursuing with new pieces under this title in the very near future, now more than ever I understand my own purpose in wanting to paint them.