Soundbite painting VIII


Enamel paint & emulsion on canvas

20.6 x 25.6cm

Ignorance is bliss, it is true. Deliberate ignorance can be self protective, and I dare say most of us retreat to its safety from time to time, even regularly over the past few years, but deliberate ignorance can be irresponsible. It can be cowardice, or laziness, or worse still, callous disregard for consequence and self bestowed permission to act without due care and attention.

The distance between may seem wide, but I don’t believe it’s as broad as all that. Self protection is important, at times essential, but there are levels of need. The desperate - those in immediate, vital jeopardy - may likely be forgiven, but to justify protection of that which one does not specifically require or deserve may prove difficult. Ignorance is used to protect many things that those of us willing to expand our understanding of the world may find unacceptable, and it is up to us to educate, as hard as that may be.

As Upton Sinclair famously put it: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Such a statement may easily be applied to the companies responsible for the unabated petrochemical plunder we are all being shaken down for, but we see it too in the blind faith that strips American women of control of their own bodies and the incomprehensible belligerence of those who believe that an end to slaughter by firearm may be achieved by dishing out more firearms. A politician, a leader no less, who claims not to be able to identify social gatherings or recall the laws he himself put into effect exemplifies how readily wilful ignorance is abused to retain power and privilege, but what is most frightening is that it is allowed to be by the same amongst the many.