Blog: Freedom – Clusters and Uniqueness

Christine Alfery

Posted on January 09 2020

Falling Down Climbing Up by Christine Alfery 40x30  watercolor and acrylic on paper

Featured image: Falling Down - Climbing Up


“Noun. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” – Oxford Dictionary

As an individual, I have dreams. We all do.  We have big dreams, little dreams, and impossible dreams.  Dreams drive us, define us, and defy us. You can spend a lifetime striving, hoping, and building your life upon a dream.  Living for your dreams can bring change. Living for your dreams can broaden your future.  

In our dreams, there is true freedom because they are not defined by reality. Rather, they are filled with imagination, forming different concepts and sensing different aesthetics.  Dreams can be creative, inspirational, and filled with new visions. Artists are dreamers who thrive in this limitless world with creating ideas and realities that never existed outside their own imagination.  

Artisans as a group are creators and dreamers. They change how we can imagine and how we can dream.  As an artist, I am inspired by the changes they suggest. These changes allow me to carry the ideas of change into a future that I personally dream of.  

At the same time, artisans as a group can have power that ends up conforming rather than allowing for the limitless freedom of dreams.  That power can simultaneously unite and divide. For me, the division is very visual. Today we have groups of artisans working together promising their group work.  Usually, the form that this visual work takes is based on a joint community effort to promote their beliefs and concepts. Political beliefs enter the arena. These artisans claim they’re visually documenting the context of the time.  They, in other words, are visual art historians, not artists. Their work is not art. Today as I walk through galleries and aisles of art work in exhibition halls, this visual history of time is the majority of what I see. Art history favors these artisans. Goya and Picasso are excellent examples of recording history with a personal flair evident in their works.  But, there is a difference between what Goya and Picasso tried to do, and what the artisans today are doing. The difference is that the viewer can actually see and feel the unique individual hand of both Goya and Picasso. The artisans of today’s work remind me of posters and, they call it “art.” This sentence does not work.   

I find this scary for art and artists.  What happens to that unique, individualized freedom that we all imagine and dream about?  What happens to that liberty and hope? Our dreams and hopes gradually become the dreams and hopes of others. Our realities become the realities of others. All these separate groups that are made up of individual energies empower the powerful leaders of the group.   It is happening in the art playground as well as other conceptual playgrounds that champion the individual and their dreams. Gradually, the individual is disappearing.  

As an artist, I must remember that my dream is mine. My dream is limitless. My dream is for true artistic freedom.  


“Noun. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”- Oxford Dictionary

More Posts