Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meal or Medium?

According to the website  these are the statistics for hunger the year 2012:

There are 7 billion people in the world; of that, about 925 million of them  are hungry; which equals to about 13.1% of the world; or in others words; 1 out of 7 person in the world goes hungry every day.

I never would have given a second thought to statistics like that until a few years ago. I volunteered to  oversee a summer school for students in a third world country. The people  live in extreme poverty- no running water, no refrigeration,  no electricity or heath care.

Just  having clean clothes  and a meal could be a daily struggle. It was a harsh reality. And it gave me  a different perspective on possesions and life. I’m truly thankful I can run to the store, get a good meal or a new pair of shoes at any time. 

It made me see that sometimes we just take things for granted. And it also changed the way I approach art.

The autumn after I returned  a fellow teacher asked  if I would do a printmaking project. I told her I would stop by and talk to her about it. Well, it turns out she wanted me to do printmaking with food- apples, potato, etc.  After seeing how some people  struggle with just getting food, it really bothered me to use food in an art project.  It just seems so wasteful.  I agreed to do a printmaking project, but refused to use food.

Later, another  teacher approached  and congratulated me on my choice; another told me I was making a big deal out of nothing. But I stuck with my choice.  Actually, since I  coming back from that trip, I have never done another art project using food.

What do you think?  Am I making a big deal out of this? Do you think it's OK to use food in your art projects ?

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