Last Saturday I spent two hours in a Word Factory workshop with writer and community artist Dave Lordan. He spoke about the ways in which his online podcasts and videos are widening the access base of his work. 16,000 people have so far logged onto a recent filmed poem – as opposed the few hundred who might buy a book.
Hearing Dave speak made me feel as if walls round the houses of art were dissolving like barley sugar, allowing work to reach hungry people who would never experience it through the established channels.
For someone who wants to change understanding around sexual abuse through the art I make, this was a powerful experience. Right now the world seems like an increasingly harsh place. Being able to connect with people who have the potential to be informed or nourished by what you have to give is good news.
Below is a photograph of ‘Humanity’, a sculpture which my father-in-law, the sculptor Oscar Nemon, made to commemorate victims of the Holocaust. They included his own mother, brother and grandmother. It was unveiled in 1967 in Osijek, in Croatia, from where they and their fellow citizens were deported.
Nemon created ‘Humanity’ as a piece of public work and an act of resistance to genocide. He wanted to bear witness to what had been taken from the town, and the world. It was a composition that he sketched and worked on for two decades. Creating the sculpture sustained him through dark years. It sustains everyone who stands beside the mother as she lifts her child to the future, hoping for better times.
If you want to know more about Oscar Nemon, his website is http://www.oscarnemon.org.uk