This flash fiction story was originally written for and published by The Story Seed. It is inspired by and dedicated to the teachings and meditations of Thich Nhat Hanh, a beloved Zen master, spiritual leader, activist and poet.
She closed her eyes and inhaled the sunset mist…
As she let her breath out slowly, a deep sense of nostalgia filled her.
It felt like she was in a long-lost 19th-century Romantic painting.
We all feel like life’s too overwhelming sometimes. It seems like when it rains it pours, and we may think that things are totally out of our control and almost impossible for us to handle. At those intense moments, we may easily believe these thoughts without further questioning, and find ourselves carried away in feelings such as hopelessness, desperation and fear, that accompany our belief.
And we may not even realize that we are breathing. We often forget to pause and ask ourselves, “Could there be any other way of looking at this?” We get drifted away by the thoughts and feelings generated by assuming, in the autopilot mode, that the answer is no, without even asking the question…
How social media platforms are being used by young people for experiencing art is a current issue that most people can have an idea about or be familiar with, as it is being focused on and explored constantly. In this short story, I wanted to take a slightly different approach and reflect on the role of social media on experiencing art not from the point of view of a young individual or a millennial; but from the perspective and experience of a pre-social media generation. I hope you’ll enjoy.
The Abstract Expressionism exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts (RA) is probably on the list of every art critic or art enthusiast as a ‘must see’ exhibition since it opened on the 24th of September. I guess it is the collective energy this exhibition holds one of the main reasons for its popularity – it is the first major Abstract Expressionism exhibit in the UK since 1959 that gathers more than 150 works, by both the most famous and lesser-known artists of the movement in one space.
As a final-year university student perplexed by the amount of assignments I have, unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to visit this exhibition in the first few weeks of its opening. But since I really wanted to see it, last Saturday I forced myself to put that stress and cup of coffee aside and yay, I was finally there!
The huge, geometric sculptures of David Smith greeted me when I entered to the RA courtyard, which was already impressive enough even without any work of art. What affected me most about these sculptures were the strong connotations they made to me, of critical yet usually unpleasant concepts such as oppression, insurgence and death– perhaps due to their highly mechanical structure, their large scale or another element that I couldn’t point out for sure – but the profound and even overwhelming effect started to reveal itself at that point, as if hinting what was awaiting me inside.
Curious and excited, I started discovering what the galleries inside had to offer. Some featured the works of different artists who had a similar approach or common traits in their works together, such as the ‘Darkness Visible’ gallery in which the works by painters like Robert Motherwell and Philip Guston, which all had unique styles and themes they explored yet carried a gloomier, heavier air that unified them, were displayed together.