Three years ago we resolved as artists to hold an art show annually whether we wanted to or not – and whether there was an interest or not. If no one came to the show, we would party by ourselves.
Even though all three of us are compulsive creators, we are not naturally motivated to prepare our artistic creations for show. There is probably only one of us who loves to show… and he will remain nameless. Yet we know that in order to grow – we need to show. We need the interaction of other artists and each other to really know what is going on in our art and in ourselves. A showing of our art would still be worth it for us, because we as artists need deadlines - and there is nothing like a public showing to serve as a deadline.
But approximately two months before each of the last three shows, we begin to talk about pulling out even if it means losing our deposit. We just can’t see it through.
This year this deliberation was even more intense. None of us had worked at any of our projects faithfully, consistently, or enthusiastically throughout the year. We had remained uninspired.
Worse than that, the three of us were changing. We were all inflicted with the dreadful feeling that everything is suddenly shabby and old. You know that feeling when everything seems dull and boring. Shabby - all is shabby. That's when one is driven to change one’s entire appearance, one's entire wardrobe, one’s entire house, one's entire profession, etc.
These are very dangerous moments! On the positive side we know that shabby moments often spur growth and positive change. On the negative side they are risky - especially for artists. It's easier if we artists could just go shopping to pick out and buy a new outfit off the rack. But there are no racks in creativity. Newness for us means originality, something forming, and something new. We have to dig deep – to find it. And that takes time. It sometimes can mean entering a dry spell for years.
It would have been okay if one of us had felt that way - or even two of us – there is safety in numbers. But no - each of us wanted something new. None of us was prepared to hold the show. It would have been so easy to cancel....
Except – this time we had promised Andrew Wall that there would be a show. Andrew Wall has become a family friend. He went to MBCI – knew of our story firsthand and knew the same people we did.
Except he is a dangerous friend; he has a camera man beside him at all times it seems. He is a film producer for Refuge 31 Films. Andrew probably became interested in our story back in 2010. I think he has footage from way back then as well.
Recently he renewed his interest in Cliff's art, and is producing a TV-Hour Documentary called Suspended. The documentary promises to follow Cliff and his "artistic" family as we sculpt, paint and knit towards our upcoming art show.
Cliff is definitely the "star." The documentary tells of his long, painful journey – from tragedy and death to the trial and conviction – and also marks his development as an artist. The themes of anger and loss as well as suspicion and justice have allowed Cliff different ways of expressing himself. Now, years after the trial and through years of fascinating and wonderful work, Cliff is still not only creating but has moved into teaching the joy of art. The premiere and broadcast are slated for Spring 2016 - after our final show.
The show must go on. We are people of our word….. Panic!
“It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.” ― J.K. Rowling,