The World is in Truth Moving on Towards it’s Destiny
For this project I was inspired by a powerful passage written by Shoghi Effendi, a key figure in the Baha’i Faith who is well known for his prolific and beautiful writings. This passage talks about the forces and processes acting upon the world that are bringing humanity together. Processes of chaos and adversity are unifying humanity, all be it in a painful and destructive way. I focused on the relationship between the organic, the human and the destruction occurring all around the world. In using human limbs and hands, I aimed to illustrate specific portions of this passage that highlight this coming together. The passage compares humanity to a human body, so in my work I used this imagery to convey a process of coming together. The specific passage that inspired these paintings is the following:
“The world is, in truth, moving on towards its destiny. The interdependence of the peoples and nations of the earth, whatever the leaders of the divisive forces of the world may say or do, is already an accomplished fact. Its unity in the economic sphere is now understood and recognized. The welfare of the part means the welfare of the whole, and the distress of the part brings distress to the whole. The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh has, in His own words, “lent a fresh impulse and set a new direction” to this vast process now operating in the world. The fires lit by this great ordeal are the consequences of men’s failure to recognize it. They are, moreover, hastening its consummation. Adversity, prolonged, world wide, afflictive, allied to chaos and universal destruction, must needs convulse the nations, stir the conscience of the world, disillusion the masses, precipitate a radical change in the very conception of society, and coalesce ultimately the disjointed, the bleeding limbs of mankind into one body, single, organically united, and indivisible.”
(28 March 1941, published in “The Promised Day Is Come”, pp. 122–124)
The idea that this is an important time in human history, a time of coming together, strikes me as a significant and true reality. All around us we can observe suffering and chaos, but there is a unity that is manifesting itself, and more and more, people of all backgrounds are recognizing this unity. What better symbol to convey this unity than by using imagery of the human body, parts that every human being has, and uses. My first painting responds to the quote “stir the conscience of the world” and I tried to create a sense of movement and coming together in the circle of arms and hands. For the second painting I used fire and limbs to illustrate the line “the fires lit by this great ordeal are the consequences of men’s failure to recognize it”. This fire is molding together the limbs of humanity. In the third painting, the limbs are coming together to form a new body; the head and back are becoming more apparent and encircle the rest of the limbs. This last painting responds to the line “coalesce ultimately the disjointed, the bleeding limbs of mankind into one body, single, organically united, and indivisible”. In my use of color I tried to move from dark to light, creating a sense that with the process of coming together, people are recognizing the hope and light of change despite all of the destruction.