The world of art is a galaxy of luminous stars.
My favourite social media feeds are filled with postings about art and artists. Every hour, I am exposed to new images, new work, new media, new ideas. I spend a portion of my day star-gazing, pondering the vastness of the creative Milky Way. The work of other artists fills me with interest, bewilderment, and awe. It is wonderous and inspiring and very overwhelming.
So many artists. So much creativity. So much good work.
The reality of one’s insignificance is revealed when you look at the stars above.
I read an article recently about the top visual artists of the moment: the brightest stars in the galaxy. I am ashamed to say I recognized only a handful of names on the list. I was instantly concerned about my ignorance. I questioned my ability to make relevant work, being so out of touch with what is going on in the world of art – supernova, mega-star, history-making Art.
My reality is far removed from the centre of the artistic galaxy.
The truth is, I make small work in a small village in a sparsely populated area of the planet. I am geographically and culturally removed from large artistic centres. I am not a superstar. I am a tiny star located 27,000 light years from the galactic creative centre: a puny pinprick of light often clouded by interstellar dust.
I am not a Sirius, Canopus or Arcturus.
But, I am a star, shining on.
In order to keep working I have to believe that, in some small way, my work sends light out into the cosmos. The sun in our solar system is small compared to other stars in the galaxy. However, it has a vital part to play in the universe, especially to the astronomical objects surrounding it.
I have come to realize that everyday, everywhere, there are creative people making work in a modest way.
The Milky Way is formed by billions of stars emitting light together. Individual stars, large and small, are no longer distinguishable within the band of light that arcs across the sky.
The beautiful, breathtaking glow is created by all.
So twinkle, twinkle, little star.
(By the way, according to those with more knowledge than me in such matters, the centre of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole: impressive, but very hard to shine around.)