Saturday, April 30, 2022

Beyond Invitation

You may have heard about, seen or attended a "Beyond" event.... "Beyond Monet" or "Beyond Van Gogh."  It's a wonderful way of introducing and immersing yourself into an artist's life story and artwork.  My brother alerted us to the "Beyond Van Gogh" exhibit in our city.

After going through the entrance, you walk down a series of corridors that briefly introduce you to the history and contribution of this individual.  Eventually, you enter a huge, empty warehouse-sized area... bare, with the exception of a few benches, floor-to-ceiling panels, and walls.  The artist's work is digitally displayed on the panels, walls, and floor, choreographed to music that sets the mood or art theme.

When do you take the time to sit and notice?
(Photo:  Beyond Van Gogh, entryway to exhibit,
Larry Gardepie)

Several thoughts came to mind as I sat on various benches or walked around the room:
  • The invitation to sit and notice;
  • The ability to bring artwork alive through motion and music; and,
  • How much I don't know!

As the themes changed, the colors and textures of the walls and floor seemed to melt and transform:  from warm and cooling colors to vibrant splashes of life; from earthy country scenes to faces of farm workers; from city buildings to starry nights.  The Light of Life captured and reflected Van Gogh's interpretation of life, what he saw and experienced.

What do you know about a Loved One?
(Photo: Beyond Van Gogh, projected artwork,
Larry Gardepie)

Many galleries and museums gather and display artwork.  I've seldom wanted to stay and learn more at these galleries.  There was something different about this exhibit:  the ability to Go Beyond.  Though dying fairly unknown and poor, Van Gogh's contributions to art and his letters to his brother live on and are re-imagined... beyond the 37 years that he graced our world.

I wonder what captures our attention:

  • Is it an invitation to sit and notice?
  • Is it new ways of presenting information?
  • Is it the humility to accept what we don't know?

Are you willing to sit and listen?
(Photo: Beyond Van Gogh, Immersed in His Artwork,
Larry Gardepie)

In a similar way, I wonder about our invitation to dialogue with each person we meet:  Do we take the time to notice, to sit, and to listen?  What information do we present and in what form do we offer the information?  Are we willing to accept that there are areas we haven't experienced or that we just don't know the answer?  Are we willing to stay and linger - to ask and to learn?
The invitation this week is to go beyond what we assume, what we think, and what we know or don't know.

Larry Gardepie

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