Saturday, June 29, 2013

Twenty eight Prayers for Twenty six Victims: A Requiem for Sandy Hook

Twenty eight Prayers: #9
See Slideshow of 28 paintings
Exhibit card for exhibition at Artworks Gallery
June 2013

Today is the last day of this exhibition at Artworks Gallery.  At its inception I was having difficulties with Blogger.  I think there is something poetic about blogging about it with the closure of the exhibition.

My artist statement as accompanied with the work:

28 Prayers for 26 Victims

Betti Pettinati-Longinotti, SFO

Mixed media paintings/ Visual prayer

Likewise, the Spirit also helps us in our infirmity: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit prays for us with unspeakable groanings. ~ Romans 8:26

This body of work is a requiem for the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., and the massacre that took place there on December 14, 2012.

At the crossroads at a controversial intersection of prayer and the political, makes a statement about the horrific culture of death our nation and world encounter in this generation.  It confronts me, as to many, with profound grieving. My grieving asks questions of our society, that allows this kind of unspeakable horror a reality, and my questions unanswered become visual prayers.

It seems every week now, we hear of another mass shooting, or act of mass terrorism within a public venue.  Where is our safe place anymore?  As a believer in the culture of life and light, I shudder at the darkness that prevails and surrounds.

I state 28 prayers because I believe the young killer and his mother were also victims.  A young victim largely marginalized by his mental, behavioral and emotional disabilities.  His mother a victim to caring for her child with these disabilities kept marginalized by society, with a lack of any significant support.  These young people with these kinds of disabilities keep themselves marginalized by nature of their disability, so it all becomes a vicious cycle of tragedy.

This was a tragedy all the way around, including no resolution over the gun control issue in our nation since the date of this massacre.  Where do we place the importance of our young, our children, when the rights of the privacy of gun owners leave these babies as martyrs to a failing system?

The aesthetic and conceptual content of my work connects to inspiration by the abstract expressionist paintings of Richard Pousette-Dart. In a 2010 exhibition of Pousette-Dart, Predominantly White Paintings, at the Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., remarks that his paintings are visual prayers. As a contemplative artist, I appreciate the connection of prayer to the creative process, and a vehicle for both to co-exist, as well as an instrument for the Spirit to groan through my visual expression.

Pace, שלום, peace~

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