What does hope look like in art? What kind of art gives us hope?
This chemigram by Swedish photographer Åke E:son Lindman conveys a sense of hope to me. While it is an abstract work, I see a mountain landscape bathed in the bright light of the rising sun. The crisp light glows, the landscape reborn at the end of a dark night. Looking at this picture, I feel as if I just rose from a deep sleep, awake now and ready for an entirely new day. I can almost feel the fresh mountain air around me, a light dampness of the fog that will soon be driven away by the warm strength of the sun.
Whatever happened before, there is a new start right in front of us. A bright light leading us onwards, scattering doubts and despair. This is hope.
While the image I chose here resembles a landscape, it is not a photograph of a landscape. A chemigram is not a photo, but makes use of the chemical process of developing photographs. The paper is bathed in or painted on with different chemicals and exposed to light, creating patterns and shapes. Creating a meaningful image requires thus a high degree of skill and experience by the artist.
In the context of this blog, I believe there is a message even in the making of this artwork. We do not need to go out and seek hope, we do not need to climb mountains to find it. We can shape it ourselves. There is hope within ourselves, we just need to bring it to the surface.
Artwork: Åke E:son Lindman,