Today I did a painting performance piece as part of the WonderRoot INdex. This was held during the weekly East Atlanta Farmers Market. I was recently asked if I wanted to do something or sell art or create some sort of event for the local neighborhood at the farmers market. I knew right away that I wanted to do something different. I wanted to come up with something to show my art but make people think. WonderRoot was in full support.
I built a wall out of panel and cardboard. Then I began to paint. Every 20-30 minutes I would rest. I brought a small simple cot and a stand and an alarm. I would rest and sleep until the alarm went off. The crowd stood around and watched me work and then rest. I would lie silently with my hands on my chest; hat pulled down across my face.
I had a sign that said I was working; then on my “breaks” I changed it to display the resting sign. I had signs I made to somewhat explain what I was attempting to do. I painted and re-painted. I wrote and painted over. I wrote again.
I tried to share the message my artist friend Charlie Brouwer and I had discussed a week ago over Chinese food on Buford Highway. We spoke about the concept of work and rest and how people need something to do. There is a inherent value in staying busy. It is good for the mind. On the flip side we also as humans need rest to think and recuperate. Charlie helped me hone my ideas and gave me the “Awake O’ Sleeper” reference from the book of Ephesians. To him I am thankful for his advice and fellow artistmanship. Check out some of his art here.
While I painted I had a lot of people talk about what I was doing. I liked it when people would read what I had written on the wall. Kids asked me questions and adults discussed where the thoughts and colors were originating from. One child asked their parents while I laid with my eyes closed,”Is he dead?” “No honey, he is just resting”, the parents replied.
Thanks very much to Maggie and Chris and Charlie(yet another Charlie) from WonderRoot for your help and encouragement. Thanks also to Maria for the photography and assistance.