No Words

Sasha Chavchavadze, No Words, 12″ x 24″, archival pigment print on Canson.

I don’t think there’s a particular kind of Quaker artist. I have encountered some artists whose practice and work are contemplative. There are other artists that I would describe as activists, meaning that their work, whether performance or painting, addresses specific issues. 

Being a Quaker has influenced me by underscoring my feeling that art can flourish better in communities outside the rigid art world structures, particularly the commercial art world. These structures create a culture of scarcity that can be toxic for all involved, perhaps especially for the artists. I believe art has lost much of its essential function within these structures, such as changing—and sometimes saving—peoples’ lives. 

Being a Quaker has made me realize that my art practice has always been a spiritual practice at its core, an expression of the Light. I believe the idea that Quaker artists should be humble is a response to the ego-driven, competitive nature of art today. My remedy for this is to create new community-based art projects and platforms in which I collaborate with other artists and share my work with joy.

Sasha Chavchavadze

Sasha Chavchavadze has exhibited her mixed media paintings and installations widely for 30 years. Her community-based art projects reconnect art to other disciplines and to the community. She attends Brooklyn (N.Y.) Meeting. Online: Sashachavchavadze.com and Sallyproject.net.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Maximum of 400 words or 2000 characters.

Comments on Friendsjournal.org may be used in the Forum of the print magazine and may be edited for length and clarity.