For my 18th birthday on the 20th of April (yes I am aware that that’s national weed day but hey what can you do) I went to a contemporary art gallery and vegan café. I decided to go alone, then do something with a friend on the weekend. The art gallery had a special meaning to me, when I was about 16 I wanted to go because I always liked the idea of being the type of person who goes to art gallery’s, but I was too full of anxiety and depression to actually be able to go. Now at 18 as an adult I wanted to prove to myself how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown.
The gallery its self was small and simple with an exhibition of one persons work, her name was also Claire which to me was a sign to go. She explores the theme’s of sustenance, waste and consumerism, blending the relationship between fact and fiction. The oil painting’s were very cool, you could see her hallucinatory imagination through the everyday objects she painted and her hyperrealistic art described the everyday mundane in a very unique way.
As I sat in the café upstairs listening to folk indie music playing I pondered over the art I had just seen and wondered, I wondered how long it must have taken, how hard it must have been to start and finish it all, how much criticism and judgement would land of her paintings but how worthwhile it all would be. As it’s all now being admired by the art aficionados and appreciated by many more, she must be proud. and what a wonderful metaphor that is for growing up.
I began to hate this town I call home, mainly I believe it’s from being here all my life, my soul needs to wander and explore but I’ve felt trapped. However I was reminded that every place has little gems to find, and regardless of the bad memories, there’s always time to make better ones. The sonder struck me as I looked at the people around the place, and I thought about what their 18th was like or will be like. I look at the art again and think, art is so beautiful, a simple piece at first can become so complex after examination. And again what a wonderful metaphor that is for us.
18 years and counting.