Expressing Infinity


Painting and Essay by Jerome Lawrence

Express to make known one’s opinions or feelings

We are often content to move through life in a straight line, painfully aware of the obvious and pleasantly amused by harmless deviation regardless of magnitude. We encounter art and it doesn’t seem to matter to the creators of it what we really want, the type of day we’ve had or what kind of stress we’re under. Many of us are taught to see to the needs of others and we’re often surprised when others don’t care for themselves much less about us.

The moments we think that we are in control come and go with varying effect on our actual position of power, while our opinions change, our moods shift, our consciousness wavers and the only certainty seem to be that we want what we want when we want it. A better understanding of others will allow greater influence as we attempt to move, excite, and otherwise manipulate a person’s emotions, attitudes, ideas, etc. to gain acceptance, compassion and understanding or whatever else we have determined at this moment is what we want.

We must understand that our most crystal clear expression may not be so to a large part of our audience. Design your expressions to both continue the process of your understanding and to begin mine. We know that what is outside of us is the same but is seen differently by each one. And if we each see that which is outside of us differently, sharing the specifics of tints and shades within our mind becomes an increasingly difficult task. Emotions are common, but how many of us can admit to feeling only one emotion without a mix of many others in different degrees? Your ability to express is an important part of my ability to understand. Of the differences between individuals I ask you importantly to consider differences in mental health. With differing access to information, varying capacity to understand and to not misunderstand and differing ability to make use of information there is ample opportunity to either harm and take advantage through confusion or to gainfully assist others by becoming an instrument of clarity. Which do you want?

Imagine being on a desolate planet. You are a blob. Your only thought is to survive. Parts of you extend in search of nourishment. Locomotion is developed to further assist your search. Your development of senses helps to glean every advantage from your surroundings. Your purpose becomes to effectively maneuver within your environment reserving strength, increasing stamina, maintaining peak condition in order to efficiently obtain nourishment and knowledge; ever increasing your ability to not only sustain your existence but also to thrive. Contentment and dissatisfaction are gaged to monitor your progress in achieving this goal. To thrive is what you want whether you realize it or not. You encounter an identical blob. How much can you assume? With identical parts can you also assume identical thoughts, emotions, desires and identical purpose? Can our entire existence be summed in the practice of getting what we want without regard for the thoughts, emotions, desires and possible purposes of coexisting blobs?

Within your life and your life’s work, take full advantage of that which makes you a unique “blob”. Highlight the laughter of a shimmering lake in a way that only you can. Entrench the coarse shrill of a scream into our psyche or deliver a “knock out punch” with that feather of an idea you didn’t think you had much use for. There is a way of seeing that only you possess. An important tactic in getting what we want is to share. Giving a part of you is prerequisite to receiving in many cases. Share with your audience helpful thoughts, feelings, experiences, attitudes, and even that for which we haven’t words but know in our hearts has shared value.

On View: Infinity by Jerome Lawrence. 20×24, acrylic on canvas. BFA, Georgia State University. Jerome Lawrence’s solo exhibitions in Georgia include galleries such as Sabra Gallery, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, Chances Gallery, City Gallery East, VSA Arts for All Gallery, and others. His artwork is part of the documentary Shadow Voices & Building on Faith by Mennonite Media, and he has been interviewed by CNN news, WXIA-TV and WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jerome Lawrence’s work was featured in Visual Preludes 2006, an exhibition of Episcopal Church & Visual Arts for the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, Columbus, Ohio, 2006.

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