Last week I talked about the importance of story in art and was reminded of an experience I had years ago. I was meeting with a man and had been ushered into his office. His assistant said he would be there shortly. As I looked around his office I saw a painting of a Vietnam War Veteran standing at the Vietnam War memorial in Washington D.C. His hand was on the wall and his head was bowed. In the reflection were his comrades in uniform all looking at him with understanding and empathy. I honestly wasn't ready for the rush of emotion that hit me as I experienced that painting. I immediately developed a story of my own about what happened in Vietnam and the sadness this man felt as he leaned against the memorial wall. I was drawn in to the point where I commented on it to the man I was meeting with and he told me some of his experiences in the Vietnam War.
Yes, we can make statements through our creative projects and sometimes that's the point. But more and more I'm considering the story that people can become part of as they experience what I create.