The human condition can be characterised by one immense journey, encompassing key events and situations that are at the core of human existence such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspirations, conflict and mortality. This is our one common fate, whilst our own individual perceptions will pull us apart.
“By luck of the draw, we’re individually born into a time and place of chance. A physiological and psychological coordinate of sorts from where we proceed to perceive the world. It’s a perspective that can go unchallenged if no major change is thrust upon us or sought out".
The series of new works relate to human migration, which unlike the animal kingdom, is a world filled with defined boarders and regulations, which have forever changed the pattern of human migration, and ultimately our ability to relate to one another.
The 13th century Persian poet Rumi wrote a short poem called ‘The Elephant In The Dark’. The text centres on a group of individuals who are lead into a dark room and asked to describe a giant creature without ever having encountered such an animal before. One by one they put forward their own individual interpretation of what they can sense out from the large animal in the darkness. But no one answer is correct… yet all descriptions hold some part of the truth.
Likewise, the human condition can be characterised by one immense journey, our one common fate bringing us together and pulling us apart.
'The Elephant In The Dark' by Rumi (original text written in Persian)
Some Hindus have an elephant to show.
No one here has ever seen an elephant.
They bring it at night to a dark room.
One by one, we go in the dark and come out
saying how we experience the animal.
One of us happens to touch the trunk.
“A water-pipe kind of creature.”
Another, the ear. “A very strong, always moving
back and forth, fan-animal.”
Another, the leg. “I find it still,
like a column on a temple.”
Another touches the curved back.
“A leathery throne.”
Another, the cleverest, feels the tusk.
“A rounded sword made of porcelain.”
He’s proud of his description.
Each of us touches one place
and understands the whole in that way.
The palm and the fingers feeling in the dark are
how the senses explore the reality of the elephant.
If each of us held a candle there,
and if we went in together,
we could see it.
The point of Rumi’s poem is that there is real wisdom to be had if we are willing to take on a more varied view of the world, and explore fresh perspectives of those who don’t fit into our own personal experience. HUMAN CONDITIONS is a contemplation on belonging – viewing reality form multiple view points.