My Fascination With Other Cultures – World Peace Playing Itself Out On My Bedroom Wall

27 04 2010

As we grow up, we realize that some of the things we aspired to become as children won’t ever be possible for some reason or another. I am no different. I will never be a veterinarian because I’m terribly squeamish. I will never be a French teacher because, to be a French teacher you have to study copious amounts of French grammar, which I find no more interesting or enjoyable than sitting around studying English grammar. To put it another way, I’m thankful for many things – “spell check” is one of them. I have also determined that I will never become a diplomat, namely Secretary of State, as I wanted to be when I was young. Madeleine Albright is someone whom I have admired since she became Secretary of State. I was very young during the 1992 election but watching the campaign (the first one I really remember) got me thinking about “running for” First Lady as Hillary Clinton had. I didn’t realize that Hillary Clinton’s behavior during that election had a whole lot more to do with her as a person than it did with how one becomes First Lady. Ah, youthful naiveté. Once I realized that the only qualification for First Lady was marrying some guy who was elected president and when I saw how a First Lady was treated, I quickly decided that was not for me. The Secretary of State didn’t seem to get kicked around as much and it was a position which could affect real change in the world. Making the world a better appealed to me greatly. It still does and I’ve always taken quite an interest in politics, world events, social anthropology, and foreign policy but I’ll never have the qualifications or connections needed to be appointed Secretary of State. I mean, I have a B.A. in Theater and Media Arts – that’s not exactly dripping with diplomatic potential. There is also the fact that I’m not one to hold my tongue. Don’t get me wrong, I’d be a better choice than, say…

John Bolton - Two-Toned Walrus

him, but I don’t think I’d be at the top of anyone’s shortlist for the position.

 

Despite all of that, my interest in other cultures (and their politics) persists unabated. I suppose, all things considered, that I shouldn’t be surprised that my little paintings are taking on a multicultural feel. I blame it on Ovation TV running the entire art history miniseries This Is Civilization last week. (Yes, I am that much of an arts geek, thank you very much!) The first was a mhendi design

– not this one, but a mhendi design – a staple of my doodle repertoire – which I’ve already sketched out. But then islamic geometric patterns,

and Israeli hamsas,

and african designs (this one’s from Mali)

all looked quite inspiring. I’ve decided to do more looking into designs from different cultures and there is so much out there for me to enjoy and glean ideas from. The final project – all the little canvases together like a patchwork quilt on some sort of mounting which has yet to be designed – will be an interesting blend of modern and traditional styles… provided, of course, that I don’t ruin it or give up.

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