The Phuket Art Village in Rawai was a side-trip, an unplanned stop in an itinerary that had been planned for months.
It was one of many inspirational places I’ve had the chance to visit in Phuket island.
If you are planning to go, time it for the start of the golden hour, which in the Andaman region of Thailand in the summer months can mean from around four in the afternoon.
The light will not disappoint you.
I had the iPhone in my pocket, and could not stop making still life snaps of the light on the colorful display of the resident artists’ work.
A couple of the artists in residence at the Phuket Art Village collect discarded material for their creations. Driftwood, broken fishing nets, oars and pieces of old boats find their way into expressions.
Painters also live at the Village. On the walls of the houses, pastoral scenes bloom with bright color; dark fantasies on another wall, dreams of Buddhist detachment and the distant glow of enlightenment.
Scrolling through these inspirational moments, I found an old message from the universe. This was on one artist’s wall. He was in the house, painting a doorway. We exchanged smiles and I remember lingering over this message, then filing it away for later after capturing it with my phone camera.
Life is not simple for a creative. Though this is the century of the right brain, the age of design and innovation, creative work is often tucked away in corners, sometimes suppressed by whom the artist knows, how much they network and push their work into public attention.
Some artists create the visions in their life into form; quietly, unnoticed.
But the compelling parts of ourselves will not be silenced. I think of the character Charles Strickland in Maugham’s novel The Moon and Sixpence, based on the life of Paul Gaugin. Strickland was a broker in London, and left his suffocating life to create art.
Some people say it’s foolish. Others, perhaps think that freedom to create is worth a sacrifice.
The message from the universe was that Life is short and the world is beautiful.
What would you do?