The Art of Hope
Aluzarte, Art in Prison
“I am convinced that art as a magnificent mixture of color and emotion, meditation as a guide to living a more fulfilling and happy life, and yoga as a way of achieving mental balance through physical exercises are the most extraordinary methods of regeneration, which can help to rebuild a harmonious link between the body, the soul, and emotions.”
The mind is free. Its capacity to make us happy or miserable, hopeful or disillusioned in any given circumstances is immense. That is what makes meditation such a valuable instrument of changing our lives. As the Buddha said, “The mind well controlled is the most helpful friend. If it is uncontrolled and allowed to stray, it will certainly turn into the most dangerous enemy”.
Combination of meditation and art – another potent medium of self-exploration and self-expression – has a tremendous power to heal the hearts and minds of people, to give them strength and vision to live better, more fulfilling lives. We were very glad to find a very practical application of this idea by a dedicated and driven team of the Aluzarte project, who teach art and meditation at a female prison in Puente, Mexico.
Nelson Mandela wrote in his diary: “… the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the process of your own mind and feelings.” Mandela said that meditation and art were the two pillars of his life, which sustained him through his 27 years of incarceration. According to the founders of Aluzarte, this is the idea and emotion, which inspired them in their undertaking.
We are happy to include the works produced by the participants of the Aluzarte project into the Budart Exhibition. These pieces explore the themes of love and loyalty, the right and wrong, suffering and redemption, the idea of God and the meaning of life. These paintings are intense, with all the suffering that these women must have gone through, and they contain pure energy of creativity, which has no other channel to be realized other than the art. But above all, they serve the purpose to create an alternative and transformational image of reality.
“… I believe in the girls I have found within four walls, I believe in their great potential, because an action, good or bad, does not define a person and the worst prison is the one, which exists within our minds. I believe that in any circumstances, no matter how difficult they are, it is possible to find the light; I believe that their needs are the same as mine and their dreams are even purer, because, having lost everything, the only thing they want is to get it back. I am grateful to them, because they’ve shown me that if the mind is free, a person can stay free in any environment...” Sophia Reynoso, Director of Aluzarte