Reconciliation – The Interwoven Vision (Breaking down the Barriers – Celebrating the Differences)
Materials: inks, boards, assorted papers, threads, fabrics
Technique: calligraphy, weaving, paper collage, concertina book construction
Size: 20 x 20 x 5 cm (closed); up to 20 x 100 x 30 cm (opened)
Description: When diametrically-opposed people first come into contact (different cultures, viewpoints, values, ages, abilities, genders) neither understands the others’ experiences and history, and so they do not readily interact. With greater association, each side can recognise superficial differences in the beliefs and lifestyles of the other group. Then differences amongst individual members of the other culture become apparent, causing each to appreciate, and even begin to take on board, some aspects of the other’s beliefs/stance. Tolerance and compromise blossom, at both the spiritual and the physical level, leading to full cooperation and recognition. However it is important to remain aware that differences still exist, and thus try not to smudge everything into an indeterminate grey melting pot.
This progression, from separation to reconciliation, is depicted in the pages of this book. The interweaving of the cultural differences can be viewed from either the ‘black’ or ‘white’ perspective, framed and restricted by our own cultural baggage. Although the interactions are the same, this background ‘colour’ can influence, and perhaps alter, our perception of the situation. Cultural and ideological differences in Australia are currently under intense scrutiny – Aboriginal/European; Christian/Muslim; young/old; rich/poor; physical and mental ability/disability. Let us hope that increasing empathy produces harmony and reconciliation, whilst at the same time preserving and celebrating the underlying basics of our individual and cultural differences.