The Existentialist Artist

Beliefs and Creativity

As there was no art department in my old high school, I majored in the subject most close: literature. I loved books and was an avid reader, devouring tales and poems.

During my 11th year at school, I came across the French existentialists. I found Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus fascinating. The non-conformist approach along with the banality of existence totally appealed to my teenage defiance. They become role models accompanying me from afar and quietly to this day.

I hadn’t thought about my existentialist epitomes for quite a while, till about a year ago, during a zoom workshop, the lecturer mentioned that he found cemeteries inspiring. At that given moment, I laughed and thought “how gruesome”. He spoke about the feeling of momentary magnitude of our existence and how important it is to make every moment count as we are ephemeral on this earth.


“The Song of the Sirens” – Colored Pencils and Ink on Heavy Construction Paper, 100cm/15cm

@Barbara Adler Art 2020

Then, I found myself going to a funeral. The first of four in a relatively short period of time. My role models surfaced once again from the depths of my subconscious. I found myself sitting on a tombstone scribbling words that eventually formed into a poem. At the other funerals, I felt an urgency like the urgency that came with the first lockdowns; the urgency to create, to be heard, to be seen, to share. For what is done now, created now, is to be remembered and not forgotten and is for posterity.


As one of the people/ Barbara Adler June 2022


As one of the people

Bewilderingly, escorting

Unsung dead.

You, I

actually

accompanied

As the king’s daughter

I have wandered


As one of the people

Escorting

The dead in concatenation

You - I

Trying to evoke

Being

Direction


As one of the people

Droplets of sweat

As tears

Reposing

At your place

The cool cenotaph

As a pharmacy



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