This is a sponsored post. The author – Ms. Twisted N Turned / Tishea Davis-Hackamack was given free admission to the films listed to complete her review.
One of the many benefits of being a member of H.A.A.B. (Houston African-American Bloggers Association) are the opportunities we’re presented with that we might not pursue on our own. My attendance at the Houston Cinema Arts Festival was one of those opportunities. This year the festival ran November 9-13th and I attended the screening of Ash: The Art of Wayne Gilbert and Jesse Lott: Artist in Action on Sunday the 12th.
I came into the experience pretty much a clean slate. I freely admit to not knowing very much about the world of independent filmmaking or either artist. I did a cursory search on both artists out of curiosity and felt satisfied that I knew enough to at least understand their respective works.
I was wrong. Completely wrong. In my efforts to be intellectual I downplayed the very visceral reaction art brings about. I forgot that hearing intimate details of another’s life experiences can tie tiny threads of connection if you’re open to them. I forgot that art can and will move you in ways you wouldn’t imagine.
From a movie enjoyment perspective Fantasy and Sci-Fi are my normal go-to’s. Throw in some explosions and a little laughter and I’m a happy camper. I prefer my drama, angst and pathos to come from books. I love to love and hate along with the characters and wiping tears off a page or my e-readers. I wasn’t expecting to be drawn in to the stories of the artists and their art. I was caught off guard to find myself chuckling and identifying with both the subjects and the subject matter on the screen. I experienced sadness and indignation on behalf of the artists.
So, I tip my hat to the production teams because they did an excellent job of not only telling a story but of connecting our humanity. Our differences and our similarities and let social truths stand on their own. I’ll be doing more research on both the producers and the production companies because they threw out a nibble and I’ve taken the bait. I want to see more of what they have to offer.
Buuuuuut, my absolute favorite part of the evening was hearing from the artist’s themselves. Both were candid about who they and what motivated them to continue to create, in spite of. In spite of past personal issues, social injustice, and in my opinion, the bewildering lack of real acknowledgement by the global art community. OK, another moment of honesty, I had a chance to talk with both artists and their energy was contagious. I wanted to invite them over for coffee and conversation about them and their art. They were so engaging I want to know more so why they aren’t household names I’ll never know.
Below are pictures of my current favorites from their collections as well as my #OMGIAMSOGLADIMETTHEM photos. I know the hashtag is a bit confusing but well it’s kind of how I talk in real life from time to time (read that as a lot).
The first image is titled “Escape of the planets”, by Jesse Lott. It’s a mixed media piece that speaks to my very soul. So much so that I’ve begun an outline on a blog post about it. Every time I see it another layer of emotion and thought is revealed.
This piece by Wayne Gilbert is titled “Clutter” and the story behind it’s creation is so rich and nuanced I’m still wrapping my mind around it. His choice of medium notwithstanding, the fact that this picture can be viewed from any side and the meaning doesn’t change even as the perspective does is just one of those things that made me say wow.
I love the fact that both Mr. Lott and Mr. Gilbert were so open to taking pictures with me. It was truly a wonderful, educational and inspiring event and I’m looking forward to next year.
If you want to know more about Twisted N Turned, her blog details are listed below:
Twisted N Turned