Art Year Project

Theme: Adversity is the birth canal of promise

Creating this artwork was a joyous journey…

Sometimes in life one goes through difficult and hard times, but your courage and perseverance helps you to get through it. You need to believe in yourself and follow your heart. The promise is that you will turn into a free, spiritual and joyous person.

In the past an ordinary bird (representing a sad person) was locked up in its own cage. Its surroundings are filled with many unhappy emotions. Fear and sadness is expressed through the handwritten words, where I have used all three languages I speak (English, German and Afrikaans). These words form the bars of the cage. Black and white (white representing a bit of negative space, not too much as the person doesn’t have much room to breathe and feel free) and greyscale convey the sad and lonely past. The wire shapes the birdcage, in order to visualise a real cage and to give it a 3D effect.

Mixed media: pencil, charcoal, black fine liner, wire and magazine cut outs

“Vergiss nie, dass Dein Herz frei ist. Du braucht bloss den Mut, ihm zu folgen.” (Sergio Bambaren)

(Translation into English: “Never forget, your heart is free. You just need the courage to follow him.”)

This inspirational quote conveys the transition into the future. Now the sad bird (person) finds the courage to leave its past and to follow its heart and dreams. The first part of the quote written by Sergio Bambaren has been handwritten on recycled brown paper and placed into a red hand folded envelope. (Here I wanted to convey the sentimentality of handwritten letters.) It escapes from the cage and transforms into the most beautiful, free and colourful hummingbird. The word free is shaped by a soft, warm coloured wool string (conveying happiness, warmth and softness) in a script typo and is placed in such a way to show the connection between the flying birdcage with its open door and the flying hummingbird (the new transformed happy person).

The hummingbird is created by doodling art with black fine liner, coloured in with aquarelle pencils and decorated with a few sparkly beads. The colourful bird conveys joy, freedom and courage.

The hummingbird has a special way of teaching us to move beyond time, to heal what has happened in the past, and to fully center our presence and awareness in the moment that is now. Their physical lightness is also a beautiful reminder for us too to lighten up! If we let ourselves release the weight of doubt, fear, and worry. Like the hummingbird, our spirits can begin to hover and soar as we follow our path of joy.

(Melanie Beckler:

The background is filled with abstract and colourful flowers, inspired by one of my favourite artists: Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The flower meadow shows the world of happiness, spirituality, children’s laughter, playfulness and joy of life.

Mixed media: soft pastels, pearlescent aquarelle, beads, a lady bug out of wood, music notes, tissue paper and pressed wild flowers from Avis Dam, Windhoek, Namibia.

(On one of my morning walks at Avis Dam I got inspired to include these wonderful wild flowers into my project.)