Guest Contributor: Conor Broderick
Pathways – a familiar analogy about the choices and circumstances that shape our lives. We try to follow or create new lines through our known world. Pathways can be mutually exclusive, but they are also intertwined within our shared existence. And in this world, our paths will cross. It doesn’t matter if you have made yourself a million dollar lifestyle with mansions, surrounded by technology, or if you live in a humble home of adobe walls and a thatched roof. The choices we make not only change the way we live our lives but also affect how others carry on as well.
There are those who want to make the world a better place. Some want to leave behind a legacy, something helpful for future generations, more beautiful than ever, a legacy that matters. I’ve learned that parts of this goal seem almost constantly out of our grasp. To better ourselves we might need to find a sanctuary. We need these places to escape to in order to make meaningful changes. When I paint, I create this safe place where I am free to imagine, to dream, to communicate, to think beyond myself. Without the necessary breaks from reality or the day-to-day, I wonder if we can achieve the state of mind necessary to make positive impacts in life. Without these sanctuaries we may feed into a cycle of wasted efforts and time.
I have been forced to make those changes. I had to adapt in order to make my life more meaningful. Art was the way (the path) for me, using the creative outlets. But is this the case for anyone?
That’s where the responsibility of finding a quiet, safe corner in our world comes in. Sometimes inspiring and thought provoking art comes from lost tortured souls. Are those with such gifts attempting to create beauty to somehow make the world a little better, or are they attempting to mitigate their own injuries with masterful works of art? On one level this is a terrifying concept to think that maybe we cannot create beauty without some level of looming threat foreshadowed.
As an artist I feel that the ability to create something beautiful has saved me. I allowed myself to escape from a world teeming with anxiety, stress, and responsibility at times. Art is a pathway to expressions of thought and emotions that permit me to feel hope in times of grey. I created my own space to walk along a tree covered path backlit by the sun, on a cold autumn morning…
So as we walk our unique paths in this intertwined world perhaps we can all find something or some place that allows our minds to flourish. If it doesn’t exist, then we create it. We inspire ourselves to become a little better and add to the world’s beauty.
Conor Broderick is an artist in JAC’s network whose colorful and imaginative portfolio consists of both visual and written works. You can view his portfolio here or visit his website to see more of his art. He has works available for purchase.
3 thoughts on “Pathways”
Once again your writing and paintings have touched me deeply. Thinking about whether inner torture is a necessity for making art is a terrifying issue to dwell on, and it would be easy for me to say that for me that’s true. And I also understand that once I claim that art is in my very being for whatever reason, and I actually make work, well the transport to mental health, however brief or long it may be, takes over. When I do what I was meant to do, I believe in myself, in the possibility of justice for all, and for humankind. Thank you for sending me down this path of reflection.
Your fan, Sandra
Hi Connor, this is a wonderful reflection on life for everyone, and certainly your life and how you’ve found some peace. Your art continues to amaze me, and I apologize for not having written for a while. (I tried like heck to “be the first to like this” button, but it didn’t work.) Stay inspired to find your truth.
Conor’s work always keeps me hypnotized. The colors, their placement and the bold imagery they create. Thanks, Conor, for making this world a much more interesting place. Side note: I’m a former inmate who found my escape in the arts for my sanity.