INTERTWINING TRUTHS, 2013
Led by Diana Gilon at Clark University, Acrylic on Canvas 60" x 72"
“When we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.” These words by Nigerian Author Chimamanda Adichie were the main inspiration behind this painting. This quote and the artwork express Clark University participants' desire for recognition and dialogue regarding sensitive political and religious issues on their campus.
The Clark community focused on developing a theme that highlighted “listening to the other” and the idea of an expansive narrative filled with many truths instead of a single flat one. These ideas led to the title and subject “Intertwining Truths”. The Clark community began brainstorming for this project by uploading images and ideas to a shared album. One student shared a Ted talk by the famous Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story, which ended up encompassing the main thought process the group was trying to express. Students suggested images of windows as a representaion of perspective and the use of sections of color on a grey background to highlight different viewpoints. The patterns surrounding the window are meant to represent diversity and culture.
The final design was an interesting culmination of all the thoughtful ideas the community contributed. The piece was created in Clark’s student center over a week’s time. Public participation was encouraged during every step of the process. Some students stopped by and worked for a couple of minutes, while others worked for hours on end, all week long. As the team of creators grew from the initial design to the production of the actual work, the experience became more and more challenging and fruitful as it progressed. The painting will be hung in Tilton, the students center’s formal main hall.