By Neo Malesa
I managed to brave the Moresby sun for 2 hours today watching Jeff and the other artists in action at downtown and I write this on behalf of some the common citizens and the grassroots who witnessed the live exhibition.
For me, it was a very powerful experience. I saw the power of art and expression like never before in my life. It was the first time for me to see a live exhibition and from that two hours alone, I learned and captured more of the energy and spirit of the artist than in all my twenty four years of life. And I’m sure most who were there feel that way too. I realised that it’s not just the finished painting that speaks, it’s also the act, the work in progress, the energy of the painting artist that is infused onto the canvas that speaks much more. Those who view the finished work will not really feel the energy and emotion of that painting. I am so privileged to be part of that work of art, I watched the entire work as it started and I feel like my soul is in that, I feel it is part of me and I am a part of it. I can still feel the energy of it in me as I write this – every stroke, the dabs, the etching, the splatters, the scratches and even the final violent cuts and slashes and the anger that broke that final canvas off.
This has truly impacted me forever.
We need artists who really speak to the soul of the nation. Artists whose art is not just aesthetically acceptable by Western standards, but is emotionally impacting and life-changing – art that can really affect a person’s life and speak directly to his/her soul.
I believe artists must have a higher purpose. Not just for you to be famous, recognized and ego-inflated, but for you to really use your art to impact our people, to affect the mentalities of our grassroots. Politicians can only make policies. Whether they are done or not is anyone’s choice. Change will not come from up-down. Politicians, expatriates or men in high places have no power to change our land because the power is in our hands, the sons of this land. Revolution always starts from down-up. We are the people of this land and we must take back the power from the hands of politicians and corrupt people in high places.
You don’t know how much influence and impact your art can have because you haven’t really gone to the grassroots. That’s where the revolution will start. I really want to thank Jeff for bringing his art out to the streets, to the grassroots and the public – right in the streets of POM City.
I have so much to say but I think the bottom line for us artists in PNG is: There is a power in art yet to be discovered!
Oh Arise, all ye sons [and daughters] of this land… Let the Artists of this land come forth!