22 October, 2015

"I'm a spring person. I only like beginnings."

I was going to post a roundup of various articles, images, and miscellany I've encountered lately as a little kudos to those who are doing something to voice or repair the broken circles.

But instead of a list (after all, how many more lists does the internet need?), I decided to just share with you this one, beautiful little film called "Eleanor Ambos Interiors", which came on my radar via Design*Sponge.


© Sasha Arutyunova
"I get to see the beauty in different eyes, of different beholders, and it's always amazing...On the same canvas different creatures paint different paintings of their own vision, and I find that really wonderful."

"Invention. Invention is really the best."

Here is the sort of irony we love to encounter in removed, fictional settings for its dramatic power: A woman who has lived her life drunk on the pursuit of beauty, flying against the wind of convention -- now being slowly dragged down in subjection to her body which will eventual deny her the sense of sight, her main access to beauty. But this isn't fiction. This is the real-time experience of a real woman, and there is nothing romantic about the daily choices of attitude and action that she faces.

But here is also a simple and profound example of power as a generative thing. "Power" may not be the word that first comes to your mind when you look at Eleanor Ambos, but maybe this says more about our negative associations with the word than it does about Ambos. Andy Crouch has written and spoken extensively on power as servant leadership for the purpose of ensuring the flourishing of others. We are placed in the world and given creative ability so that all the possibilities of the world will unfold, will flourish, will be fully actualized. We are made to transform the raw material of the world in a way that elicits their "very goodness." As her body begins to limit her own ability to create, Ambos works to ensure that her eclectic empire of beautiful spaces and things will endure to provide other artists with the resources they need to create something new.

This is a sweet, sepia-toned snapshot of power as a generative thing that turns a functional space ("good") into a creative space ("very good"); as the feisty advocate of human creative potential; as humility that delights in the chance to make something possible for others rather than seeking personal gain. Enjoy this film, and then go make something!