Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story - The Art of Memorialization

Everyone has a story. Everyone is unique. That's what I love about life and knowing people. Everyone has his or her own personality, looks, interests, and quirkiness. We've never met two people who are exactly the same, right?

So after someone lives a life, it seems only logical to me to somehow reflect that spirit after the life on earth has ended. I really don't know a lot about three of my grandparents, all of whom passed before I was born. And how could I? They're all buried in a cemetery, which is customary for their generation, and each grave is marked with a granite marker which tells me nothing more about them than their birth and death dates.

I looked up the word memorial in the dictionary. The definition is: "intending to commemorate a person or thing." I believe that every life should be "commemorated." Really, it's the badge of honor that everyone earns just by living in this world.

Just think about history. How do we know what we know about people who lived long ago? Often it's from stories and pictures of that person. From those stories and pictures we learn about the person's appearance, personality, likes, or dislikes, interests, and talents. When we memorializepeople through art, we can express a lot about who they were in life. They can continue to inspire us because that personality lives on, for better or for worse.

We live in a world of mass production, of conforming to one-world rules. This fact renders the manufactured product devoid of humanity and individuality. An artist made product is made with love, and by hand. It has a life. It makes sense to me to honor life with art. It's the only non-living thing I know that can express what it is/was to be alive. 

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