Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Cultural Differences

Journal Cover
Cultural Differences
Two weeks ago I attended a workshop in Redondo Beach, California put on by Orly Avineri and Seth Apter.  If Walls Could Talk is an appropriate title for the workshop and with reflection what a soap opera we would have if they could indeed talk.

I have been working on finishing the journal spreads so I can publish them to this blog.  Last weekend I found a terrific old book with great photographs that I am now using in my If Walls Could Talk journal. The boy above just captivated me.  There is something about his innocence that moved me to include him as a "character" in this journal.  He appears several times as you will see.  I do not know his nationality but I am thinking perhaps he is from Afghanistan.

This spread Cultural Differences represents, for me, the struggles between people who are not accepting of differences.  Around the world and in the United States we have so many groups that think their way is the only way causing huge problems to amass.  Reaching out to find commonality rather than focusing on the differences seems to be the norm.  In this case, I am thinking how conflicts between religions create struggles that could be avoided.  There is example after example of where one cultural or one ideology  invades another and tries to force a way of thinking.  I will let you interpret what you think is happening in this spread on your own.

You will notice that the boy appears in a circle on the right side of the spread.  A hole was cut and I burned the cut to create the opening.  The boy on the right actually appears through the hole from another spread.
My friend Irene Rafael brought a brayer to the workshop that creates a wonderful texture when used over gesso.  It appears like craters on the moon.  The words on the right are favorite words of the other participants in the workshop who added them to my journal.


jacki long said...

Oh John, these are magnificent! Really. I love your thought process as well as your execution. Ingrid is lucky indeed! And, I agree, your young man is perfect and isn't it wonderful how these things come to us when we need them? Thanks so much for sharing, these are true, exquisite gems! Love your stamp too. ♥

Anonymous said...

I love these, love your narratives, yes more compassion is most desirable. These are things I am too very concerned about. Much love.

Brian Kasstle said...

John these are wonderful. The colors are extraordinary. There are so many more similarities between us all than differences. The world is getting smaller. Our journals help.

Cate Rose said...

Love this new set of spreads!

Seth said...

Great to see your book again John. I love what you have created here and think that the idea of celebrating cultural differences is perfect!

anonymous said...

Great cover!

tgarrett said...

Thank you for posting these John along with the ones you just posted above this one- I loved seeing what you did to them- I am thinking I need to work on my book as well- the workshop was so incredible and emotional for me that I have had to step back a bit. I think I may start thinking about working on mine- your narrative is moving- it fill my heart with joy that you are my friend.

irene said...

Hello John, This series is incredible. You have taken your journal to another level. I'm like Terry, I put it down for a while but you have inspired me.