Finally the kids were settled in the living room, sitting on the rug with their paints and pads. Who knew that babysitting four kids could be so taxing? If not for the pocket-money she needed to buy a new phone..
Speaking of phones, Angie took out mobile as she sprawled on the sofa, intending to check on her latest posts on FB and Instagram. Just as she was about to reply to a comment, a smile on her face at the glowing compliment on her pic; the sounds of a fight reached her ears. Not again!
Henry and Jenny were each pulling one side of a colouring book, shouting at each-other. Jenny looked to be on the verge of tears, while the boy was red in the face. Upon her enquiry, Henry started to defend his stand on the matter.
“She’s so stupid, Angie. I just told her that bulbs are yellow, just like sandcastles. But she painted it all wrong. And then she refused to listen to me,” he huffed out breathlessly, holding his painting of the latter. “She started the fight too.” The little girl hitched her breath, but glared sullenly at her brother; as though offended by his artistic dogma. Though only a year older to her, Henry loved to boss over his ‘obtuse’ sibling.
Taking the book in hand, whose controversial picture was the crux of the argument, Angie looked at it in confusion. With a black pen, five-year-old Jenny had added some alterations to the sketch of a light bulb.
It was later, when all the other kids sat watching TV, that Angie approached the shy girl to ask about dual-coloured bulb.
“The blue is like the sky and the sea.. you know, like our lives, always there. And my pink-orange is kinda like the sunrise. I want it to show hope and new beginnings.” Still clutching her painting, she whispered, “I just wanted to paint something different… why is that so bad?”
“And these are the works of one of our most talented, Jen Smith.” The host of The National Exhibition then introduced the patrons to the displays of one of the star artists of the night. These were indeed different than the other works they’d seen so far; enigmatically engaging yet unapologetically bold. But most of the eyes were locked on a certain sculpture: depicting just a hand from below the wrist, as though raking mud.
“Well, it certainly seems unbreakable,” came a sardonic comment, as many among their group started to debate the meaning of this piece. A favourite seemed to be a zombie trying to crawl out of his earthly coffin.
“Don’t be crass, my dear,” admonished the wife. “She’s an intrepid artist. After all, there are precious few who would risk displaying such a controversial piece of sculpture among all other paintings in this prestigious event.”
It was after the event, with four mega contracts signed and several offers of commission in her bag, that Jenny was approached by a group to ‘please explain the thought behind this mysterious piece’.
“It’s God’s Hand, tearing the fabric of the world that His creations seem to proclaim is in His reflection; but are too happy to serve their own needs under the banner of divinity. And the white clay,” she explained with a smile, “is for the hope of a new world built upon all that we’ve envisioned He embodies.”