The current political awakening of the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East is an important historic milestone. This powerful movement is sweeping away long established and entrenched dictators and their corrupt henchmen. Unfortunately, it is being achieved at a tragic human cost in both lives and extreme personal hardships.
Change is also taking place in the “more democratic” countries of Northern Europe. Younger people of “the internet generation” who often previously proclaimed the “uselessness” of voting in “party manipulated” parliamentary elections, are beginning to find their considerable voice and their strength in numbers.
In the current Election now taking place in Ireland, the votes are still being counted as I write. Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, the boiling public anger towards the last, long-serving and discredited, Irish Government never spilled over into violence. This in itself is a sign of Irish political maturity. The rejection of violence is a considerable public achievement in the face of so much petty corruption and political ineptitude. The mismanagement of the outgoing administration has now consigned Ireland to years of social and economic problems. Now, the Irish people have spoken with their votes. Whatever the final results of the election, it is now a certainty that the members of the last Government have been washed away by a powerful tide of angry Irish voters. The motley array of newly elected independent TD’s more accurately reflects the various opinions of the Irish populace. It is a breath of fresh air which challenges a political establishment long in need of complete reform.
For an artist, human passion, conflict and the extremes of the political environment are a source of great inspiration for painting. I am reminded of the visual power of Picasso’s “Guernica”, Manet’s “Execution of the Emperor Maximillian”, Munch’s “Scream” etc. I look forward to viewing the work of artists inspired by this current process of change.
My own work is definitely inspired by political and social change. I now look forward to painting with renewed inspiration and vigour on future canvases.