I stumbled across this quote a few years ago, and it's still one of my favourite quotes about art:
"Art is not always about pretty things. It's about who we are, what happened to us, and how our lives are affected."
- Elizabeth Broun, Director, Smithsonian American Art Museum 1989-2016
When I was selecting images for my Trailings exhibit, I went through many iterations. Indecision was my enemy, but I kept coming back to Skeleton. Should I include it? It wasn't the typical photograph you might see in an exhibition. But it called to me, and could not be ignored so it made the cut.
In some ways, it makes me feel uncomfortable when I look at it. It's not pretty and it's not happy, but it intrigues me. It draws me in and tells a story of vulnerability. Bare to the bones, the lack of surrounding earth strips the scene down to a sense of loss. Maybe not a happy story, but perhaps a story that needs to be talked about and shared.
People seem to be drawn to it, or repelled. That's okay! Any response is a good one. I felt particularly gratified when someone saw the image without seeing the title and said "it looks like a skeleton". Yes!