I went to see a couple of exhibitions at the Tate Modern last week. Both exhibitions (Marlene Dumas and Sonia Delaunay) looked at the artist’s work across their career, noting significant points in their own lives and describing some of the events happening around them in the world at the time.
And after seeing them I was struck by a thought. About time and about significance. So I wrote the following:
We are here for an era, a time, we’re part of a scene, a moment in time, many moments.
We make a small impact, or maybe none.
Many make no impact other than on immediate people they know. Probably.
Our legacy is there for a while, eventually it fades. Into time into the centuries as new things come along.
We’ll never see all of the future, just as we never saw the past in its entirety. That’s all a mystery.
This is now, this is our moment.
And reading this back make me think. Artists leave a legacy and a body of work, as well as a story that gets told about them to others. As do writers, sculptors and other creative or prominent people.
We all have a story, a unique story. Each life is as individual as the next. But not everyone illustrates and shares their own tale like artists and writers. Most of us won’t have our lives exhibited as a narrative with our work displayed and explained.
So what do we leave behind? What is our legacy to the world? Will our stories be remembered or told?