Everybody frightened

Posted in Debate, Opinion by Adele Todd on September 21, 2008

            I have heard said that a leap year causes the birth of more twins than ever, and also, more cataclysmic events than usual. This year certainly seems to have had its fair share of amazing events, and the year is still going! It is almost too much to take in every day what is happening, and now there is the situation of America melting down before our eyes.

How does this affect Art?

It may seem like a narrow, selfish question, but it is one that I must ask.

             People of a certain age in Trinidad and Tobago remember the recession of the 1980’s and although we act as though we have forgotten, many of us have not. The worst thing about inflation and negative value of money is the way that it makes people feel. The poverty of spirit is the biggest challenge, particularly for those for whom money equates all success.

             No one wants to hear the benefits of recession…introspection, creativity, resourcefulness, sharing… it all sounds way too coombahyah for comfort. But the fact is, that that is indeed true. A recession forces a country, and moreso a people to look at what they do have and to count their blessings instead of their cash. It even manages to make the most unexpected people wealthier. Yes, all jobs do not go down the drain and society does not stand still because money has dried up in certain areas.

It does not mean that you can’t buy Art or luxury goods. 

               What it does mean is that the buying of these items becomes a more discerning choice. The wealthy do not disappear in a recession either. In fact they become targets of desire. Everyone wants them to buy something. The greed gene does not go away. When whatever is needed to be learnt is learnt, mankind has the bad habit of selective memory. But maybe this is just the way that we humans are made up. When we have lots of money, we want to spend it, and when we do not, we get jittery.

            You may see shows on television where a multi-millionaire may live in a middle class area, and most people would say that he is stingy. Very few would see the benefit of not living above your means. The rich are no different in their desire to hold on to as much of their money as they can. They worry just as we do, except they worry bigger.

          At a time like this, Art has a tendency to flourish, yes, flourish, would you believe it. it provides a visual stimulus that is gravely needed. But no, people are not going to purchase a picture instead of groceries. Artists have to find creative ways to get their works seen and sold,but that is not new to artists’ anyway. Same old, same old.

       What has to happen in Trinidad and Tobago is something that I have been repeating for awhile, people need to know the value of Art here. Auctioning works will most likely be in greater circulation than ever, and there will be alot of work of all types of quality floating around. We all need to know about it. In the end, it shall benefit artists to know what the value of Art is at this time and into the future. Whether the market slows down to a crawl or a trickle, we need to know what value to put on what we do.


One Response

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  1. BondBloke said, on September 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Hi there, I found your blog by accident when I got a referral from one of your posts with the “Possibly related posts”; I am glad that I did find you as this is a very interesting place, and I will be adding you to the blogroll on my Brush with Art blog….

    Keep up the good work.

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