When I began this series, I was thinking of each work as an isolated moment in the search for peace. Since then, I find that my view of peace – and the series – has changed, and I’m still not sure that I can articulate exactly how, but I’m going to have a go. I’ve come to the rather obvious realisation, through stitching quietly on these cloths, that peace isn’t ‘out there’ at all; that it comes from somewhere within.
It might come as a response to some external stimulus – such as dawn, dusk, etc – but its origins are inside us all the time. We might still search for it, but we must search within, not without. It’s an emotion like any other, or a state of mind. Since I’m getting a feel for this, I’m thinking of this series now as ‘a sense of peace’ rather than ‘the search for peace’.
I’ve also realised that the word means something slightly different depending on the context. The dictionary defines ‘peace’ as ‘the absence of war’: inadequate, to say the least. That’s like defining ‘health’ as ‘the absence of suffering’. My cloths so far have concentrated on the personal – the individual – rather than the more social/political ‘absence of war’. The shift happened during ‘Lightness of Being’, I think.
Some very wise person once said something like ‘if you want to change the world, you must first begin with yourself’. I think before ‘lightness of being’ the cloths are about the individual: the ego-centred self, seeking a sense of peace and calm acceptance for its own sake. The self has to secure this first before turning outwards to share it with others. Maybe the cloths that are to come will look outwards a little, moving from the individual towards the collective: the social and political. The voice of humanity singing in harmony. So maybe it’s a question of changing perspective:
A shift in gear rather than a shift in direction. Slowing a little, to think. Looking at it in a different light, from a slightly different place.