Monday, August 01, 2011

A Couple More Mosaics

As promised, a couple more mosaic pieces. This one is called, [though it's an oxymoron] Sunset Rising. I believe the artist's last name was Brown and I'm truly sorry I don't have names correctly. It's a lovely piece of work. Patrick's favorite of the show. I can see a Sunset but the rising part I don't get.

i must admit I fell for the cleverness of this piece, which certainly had trees in the title. Although you cannot see it well in the photo the tree trunks are knives set into hte mosaic blade side forward. I don't usually fall for such tricks but I thought it worked here visually if not in any symbolic way.

The mosaic show was in an elegant Victorian mansion called Highfield Hall where many cultural events take place in Falmouth. One room had an historical display about the very wealthy family, the Beebes, from Boston who built a compound here. Another huge mansion was torn down but another building remains and is a theatre. The compound even had its own farm to product most of the food the family needed when in residence. Such ostentatious living of course continues today in it's own way. Walking through the mansion, I could not imagine what they needed all those rooms for but they seem to have been a fairly large family.

Traveling in third world countries, as I have done, rubs on our sensitivities. Before going to the mosaic show we stopped briefly in an moderately high income enclave of homes where Patrick measured a window he has been commissioned to replace with something fancier. There are sections with houses twice the size of the homes in this area but I know that many, many areas like that one exist all over the Cape. Large but not enormous homes, all probably elegantly furnished, all on lots with plenty of trees and plantings provide privacy from their fairly close neighbors. Most of the owners are professional and business people; they are well educated, intelligent, usually kind and honest people, some are involved in the community or their churches. I know and have known many such people and like them.

Such affluence makes me queasy, I sense a feeling of entitlement and complacency. I get a similar feeling in gigantic grocery stories and in malls, especially the upscale ones. We -- a certain layer of our society -- have this but we don't need it, we have it because we can. I am not in that economic strata but have been. I am not jealous; I am thinking of tiny houses in Nepal, markets with empty shelves in Zimbabwe ... I know there is no tit for tat economically in our world and it makes be profoundly uncomfortable. I know that the inequalities grow, that the blindness of the haves to the plight of the have nots increases. The disparity will become worse both within our country and especially within the world.

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