Humanity as Decoration

Humanity as Decoration by Maureen Ruddy Burkhart

We come into this world alone, and we leave it alone. Sometimes we are lonely in life as well. With a sense of melancholy tempered with hope for a better world, I’ve always been keenly aware that we are singular beings, essentially alone, adorning ourselves with humanity and our earthly possessions.

This idea of singularity and solitude, and of finding the strength of character to withstand these states, is all evident in the way I see and portray the world as an artist.

While in Inner Mongolia as an invited artist, I noticed the vast skies and wide desert landscape, the cities seemingly void of people. All around I saw emptiness, and at the same time evidence of lives being lived: coal-burning smokestacks, footprints in the snow, public art, sand sculptures left behind in the desert.

I was attracted to the openness, the sense of solitude, almost abandonment. The contrast between the emptiness yet evidence of lives lived tugged at my creative spirit as I found that, all together, those qualities really mean that the strongest of us live and work here.

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