BRAVO! For your attention to this artist and for her dedication to an issue that too many of us ignore or simply do not see.
There is beauty and worth and vitality in any work that is done with dedication and heart.
Art can be transcendent; when an artist takes a flower or sky or figure and portrays it in a way that reveals something that encourages the viewer to perceive the subject in a new way …? Well, for me, that is a nearly god-like ability.
It is a form of communication that reaches out and demands that you ‘Pay attention! There is something important here and you need to see it.’ And Ukeles has done that and she’s done it not with lovely, delicate flowers, sunsets or sublimely wrought human figures. She has taken a task, a job, a necessity that our world prefers not to look at and demanded us to pay attention.
There should be a special place of recognition in our world for the people who do the thankless jobs of maintaining our spaces and thereby our lives and sense of order. But we don’t see them. We don’t even recognize that we don’t see them because we think nothing of them. They are paid minimum wages, sometimes less, because they do the ‘grunt’ work.
Ukeles, by performing her very physical art, and you, by bringing attention to it, are shining a light in places that need to be acknowledged. They lay no claim to being ephemeral, fascinating, or even attractive but they are very, very much needed and those that meet those needs should be appreciated and respected. The custodians of our spaces are just as vital - just as precious - as anything that fills those spaces.