christophergriffin.ca From 2003:
In my extensive travels, language barriers have kept me from completely understanding new and foreign cultures and landscapes. This barrier has forced me to rely on visual cues and impressions to form my perceptions. As a result, I am able to re-examine my own society, environment and culture.
My recent journey to West Papua, Indonesia on the island of Papua New Guinea has been the most inspiring. As one of the last pristine environments left on earth, the Papuans offer a glimpse of what it means to be human: self sufficient, independent and free from the pressures of modern life. Sadly, this celebration of early man will disappear in our lifetime, directly because of outside influence.
The Papuans do not live in fear of their natural world. They drink from the rivers, breathe the air and eat food from the soil with no trepidation. In contrast, we of the western world are living with increasing fear of these basic necessities of life as we ourselves are poisoning them. Air, water, earth. We disregard and disrespect these building blocks of life at our own peril.
This exposure to a spiritual, fundamental existence has caused me to re-examine my own work. I have become more involved in the actual process of creating. I am allowing the accidental and unconscious to guide my work. I am having fun. Although, warning signals of impending environmental and cultural loss are hinted at or fully exposed in my paintings, this does not clash with the joy of creating and the joy of living. My intent is not to jump on a soap box, nor to ignore our grave global dilemmas, but to be able to communicate to the viewer just enough to allow them to come to their own similar interpretations.