7 Aug 2010

The Light. The price of peace.

At 12.15 am on Friday it was 65 years exactly since the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima. On this anniversary an exhibition opened at the The Brunei Gallery London, showing oil paintings of survivors of the bomb and their families, each picture telling a story of not only personal accounts of their experiences of the bomb, but how their lives were rebuilt and belief in peace was restored.

Not only are these paintings some of the most exquisite pieces of work I have seen, but they capture the endurance of the human spirit, some of the survivors having gone on to teach, dedicate their life to flowers, paint 2000 pictures and campaign for peace and against atomic weapons. It struck me how much there is to learn from these, our elders and people who have experienced such darkness but seem to wise and at peace, expressing the preciousness of life. A quote from one of the survivors:

"Modern society has become wealthy in a material sense, but I don't believe it is making progress inwardly. I believe that mental fulfillment will be necessary in the days and years ahead."

At the opening of this exhibition (open 5th August - 8th October) two of the survivors who are featured in paintings in the exhibition were present to hold a conversation with Paul Stafford one of the organizers. The couple who both experienced the horrors of the bomb, later met and married despite their families protest and have gone on to be dedicated witnesses of the atomic bomb. Though they carry what they experienced and saw with them every day they have managed to triumph with love and helping others in order to create a better and safer world and to 'turn the hearts of the worlds people towards light'.

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