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This piece was purchased by

Cheltenham Ladies' College.


Homage to Seeing : a five panel art work by Val Hudson

Homage to Seeing is a multi-faceted, deep, response to the Earth’s Crises in the climate, in the ecology, in our societies and their socioeconomic-political organisation and in our (spiritual) selves. I considered it urgent to create something that might serve as an object of contemplation. A portal. An object as a starting point to provoke questions, to invite and generate conversations. An object to inspire other creative works. An object that evokes the need for a paradigm shift and bears witness to the beautiful world.

A (Japanese) Five Screen/Room Divider composed of 390 smaller rectangular “frames”; small abstract oil and wax paintings; personal photos; found photos; newspaper and magazine cuttings; printed text on paper; quotes on paper; packaging.

Images and Text:
Images are arranged and juxtaposed of the natural world in its unmanufactured forms: plants (trees, grasses, moss etc); animals; fungi; lichens; elemental references (water, rock, earth, skies and so on). There are images of people and organisational logos. Text is interspersed and includes quotes/commentary from eminent and important critical thinkers and a series of prompt words, “grace”, “alive”, “wonder”, “portal”, “nuance”, and a core Buddhist Teaching, part of the Pratitya Samutpada, “this being, that becomes”.

I am moved by the Earth’s Crises and am struck by the role of humanity’s divisions in these: we appear to be divided from realising our dependence on a living planet; from other living beings; from other people; from ourselves. A screened room divider composed of multiple mini-frames seemed an appropriate vehicle to start this journey of creation. I began making small paintings, collecting and sourcing various images, finding logos and picking up discarded objects. There were many permutations of the arrangement of these small pieces and, in the creation of Homage to Seeing, I faced some struggles with my artistic choices in order to create a piece that worked both as a whole and as small individual pieces in close juxtaposition. In its earlier inceptions Homage to Seeing included found objects like small plastic toys, synthetic materials, discarded consumables and references to extremely powerful Multinational Corporations and ecological disasters. When I, initially, included these references they did not sit well and jarred with the heart of the piece as my aim was always to create something with beauty and spirit. Something more akin to a shrine. Something with hope. Eventually, after much trial and error, what emerged was a piece that is held together by colour and form and suggests, perhaps, a stained glass window - even if close up scrutiny is not entirely comfortable.

I hope that, through Homage to Seeing, the viewer is touched by Life’s strength and fragility. That the piece helps the viewer glimpse how complex, interconnected and interdependent are Life’s structures. That we see that we are not separate. That everything is happening all at once. That we can begin to recognise how spiritual leaders, informed progressive thinkers, artists with integrity and ecological guardians have much to offer if we are to survive. That listening, connection, community and cooperation are required and that the world needs protecting. I hope the piece can help to act as a mirror to show values that are important: love, kindness, care, devotion, generosity, truth, gratitude, respect and the beauty of connection. All these are needed if we are to live in accord with the Natural World. My hope is that the piece may, if only for a while, encourage the viewer to stop and pause and be present as they take notice.

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