Difference… created by resident artist Maree Aldridge is open to the public in Just Food Cafe located at Anglican Action. The exhibition can be viewed in the café from 8am-4pm Mondays to Fridays.
For a conversation and guide through the installation with our artist please email Maree – firstname.lastname@example.org
“We become neighbours when we are willing to cross the road for one another. There is so much separation and segregation: between black people and white people, between gay people and straight people, between young people and old people, between sick people and healthy people, between prisoners and free people, between Jews and Gentiles, Muslims and Christians, Protestants and Catholics, Greek Catholics and Latin Catholics. There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy people in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the street once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might become neighbours.” Henry Nouwen
“…often difference is seen as the fearful stranger or the threat to my comfort, my sense of ‘normal’ or becomes the object of my distain, my judgement and anger… consequently my violence. Why would I want to cross the road to meet the stranger I fear, or the threat to my understanding of ‘normality’ that I want to avoid or to be face to face with all I distain in judgement and evokes my anger? Why would I want to be reminded of my own strangeness and difference and that I am far from ‘normal’ in facing another, and encounter again and again many painful walls where there is no invitation or welcome or words to create with… including those walls most stubborn inside of me? In exploring difference through conversation and research over the last few months I felt to reframe and personify difference through alternative lenses, to consider difference differently and to reflect the many wonderful encounters I have had with difference. We could have such a counter response if we could explore and alter our seeing, experience a transformation of sight… to no longer see difference as stranger, threat or object of all we distain and fear. The work I’ve done represents the generous conversation I am attempting to have… Perhaps this different way of seeing and forming relationship with difference will help me and those who find themselves on the same questing path to cross many roads to stand with and love our neighbour – and also to welcome and embrace our own strange wild uniqueness – our own difference. Yes, we will still encounter walls, in ourselves and in others, we will stand sometimes with one on each side of a wall and encounter an empty silence that shouts “no” and the wall will remain. But let us try for the exploration of relationship with difference all the same, for in doing so we will touch the edges of our own greatest growth and deepest change…” Maree Aldridge
The installation is a variety of media and poetry exploring different themes and ideas relating to ‘difference’. Difference… challenges us to cross the road once in a while, it creates a space for self-reflection and ‘quiet revolution’.
The opening night featured singer/songwriter Anne Hall, musician Shailah Rudolph, spoken word poet Ashleigh Yates and resident artist Maree Aldridge. It was an amazing evening attracting a large crowd enjoying the live original music and poetry, nibbles, mingling and an exploration of the arts and the soul.