2016 Multifaith Calendar - Gratitude
Celebrating its 30th year, the 2016 Multifaith Calendar’s theme is 'Gratitude.’
Most of us in the western world live in the land of plenty – the land of milk and honey – overflowing with resources, freedom, opportunities and beauty.
It is a smorgasbord of delights. But no matter where one lives, we also live in a world of “duality” and the “evening news”! On a daily basis, if we listen to constant tales of woe and suffering (which are never ending in the media) we can lose sight of all we truly have to be grateful for in our lives.
This year, we asked our artists to turn their eyes to what opens their hearts, humbles their lives, and makes them sing songs of gratitude.
Sarah Ban Breathnach says it well... “It does not matter how awareness arrives. What matters is that it comes. My heart began to overflow with gratefulness. I started giving thanks for everything: daisies in a jelly jar on my kitchen indowsill, the sweet fragrance of my daughter’s hair, the first sip of tea in the morning, pork roast with apples and cranberries for Sunday supper, hearing the words “I love you” before I went to sleep.”
These are simple but profound ingredients of gratitude. Everyone’s life is full of them. And once we start looking for them, they can come rushing into vision.
The 2016 Multifaith Calendar theme of Gratitude is really an open-ended topic. As Sarah says in her book Simple Abundance, you just have to open “the eyes of your eyes”. Ears to hear your favourite music, feet to dance, eyes to see the beauty of the sunset, hands to hold, people to cry and laugh with, a roof over your head, work to make us think, freedom to believe what you want. These are just so me of the great gratitudes we all share.
Asking our Artists “What are you grateful for in your lives?” allowed them to express what they feel passionately about and what they honour in their lives. In turn, it gave us a rich kaleidoscope of work to use for this Calendar.
2016 MFC cover artist: Sravya Kakumanu (Calgary, AB): 'Imagine'
Gratitude is the quality or feeling of being thankful. There’s a lot that someone can be grateful for; sunlight, food, water, love, but what about all the more conceptual things like dreams, and imagination? Innovation drives the world, and imagination drives innovation. Without imagination there wouldn’t be any change in our lives.
Dreams are more individualized to every person. They make life more exciting and give people motivation. Ultimately dreams support imagination and imagination supports dreams. ‘Imagine’ is a picture that depicts a boy sleeping in the middle of nowhere supposedly dreaming or imagining the place he’s in.
The moral of the painting is to dream big and believe that anything is possible. While that mindset might sound a bit childlike, there’s a certain beauty in it. Children believe anything is possible and dream big. Unfortunately, as we grow older that belief is subdued. When I approached this painting, I tried to use that mentality to paint whatever I could. Dreams aren’t weaknesses, they are strengths.
Watercolour on canvas; 10" x 12"
Sravya Kakumanu is a grade 10 student attending Westmount Charter School in Calgary, Alberta. She has loved art from a young age and has strengths in sculpting, painting, and drawing. Since grade 5 she has participated in six mural competitions with her best friend who also loves art. She has also been volunteering at an art studio in the local museum for the past eight months.
Along with art, she also has interest in music, and science. As for professional art, this is the first contest she has ever entered and is looking forward to future opportunities.