Monthly Archives: May 2013

F is for (strange) Fruit

This is one of my favourite songs for many reasons. A rather large one being that it was borne out of suffering (to say the least). It and many other celebrated songs, poems, paintings, films, books and many other forms of artwork have all come from a place of utter darkness. They were fuelled and brought to life by pain, madness, abuse. They struggled to grow and develop inside a neglected womb filled with fear and doubt and staggering loneliness.

I love that beauty so often comes out of brokenness but it also leaves me asking questions.

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Should the creation of art through, from or because of suffering make us grateful for it? And If not grateful, perhaps at peace with our pain or situation?

We are a nation who celebrates art and music and creativity – is it not a little strange that in turn we celebrate the illness, pain, grief, madness, isolation, addiction or heartache that brought that art into being?

Do we encourage it?

Is there a better way to celebrate or appreciate it?

Do we say thank you enough?

Do we really want to know what lies behind the art?

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What does it mean to the artist when we celebrate how many copies they sold of a song or poem or painting they created out of an involuntary desperation to express pain or devastation of losing their child? Or coming to terms with years of abuse from a parent? Or manic depression?

How does it translate? And what are we saying exactly?

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Personally, I actually don’t think questions like this are about answering.

I think they are about having an ever-present awareness and acknowledgement of the story behind the art.

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