What is an Emergency?

An emergency is defined as, ”An emergency is an urgent, sudden, and serious event or an unforeseen change in circumstances that necessitates immediate action to remedy harm or avert imminent danger to life, health, or property; an exigency.

according to Wex Law at the Cornell Law School.

What Do Emergencies Require?

Emergencies require immediate action to remedy or avert the harm or immediate danger.

During even a minor emergency, when the toilet is overflowing, the car dies unexpectedly during a trip, or when a colicky baby cannot be comforted in the middle of the night, no sane person says, “Quick call an artist!” Ambulance drivers never rush anyone to the nearest art museum or gallery. Artistic training involves making 2 or 3 dimensional art, not usually skills called upon in an emergency.

Emergency responders imagine every possible emergency that would befall them, and then they prepare and practice for that potential event. For instance, firemen practice putting out various kinds of fires in different controlled situations. Their basic training is done in classrooms and then moves to carefully controlled situations that are not actual emergency situations. Immediately coping with emergencies is practiced until it becomes a routine when dealing with an actual emergency.

Fine Art is generally a slow thoughtful process of visual conception and plan, and then stroke upon stroke until the vision is completed. The process of creating the art the inspires others is the antithesis of the hurried boots on the ground required in an emergency.

Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi (Artemisia Gentileschi, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Great Art Can be in Need of Rescue

Natural or manmade disasters, such as floods, fire or acts of war, can harm or destroy art treasures.

It is conceivable that police or even military could be deployed to protect art in a world-famous museum or heritage site from thieves or terrorists, so it is likewise conceivable that special training could be devised to help responders both protect and preserve the art. Yet that’s a potential emergency that could happen to art, not art helping in an emergency.

Then How Can Art Assist in an Emergency?

For a physical object of art to actually help in an emergency it would need to be present in some capacity. If the physical presence of art could help in an emergency, then certainly Paris, France should be immune to emergencies! But that is clearly not true. The Nazis occupied Paris, there have been riots and even one of the most architecturally renowned buildings in the world, Notre Dame Cathedral was significantly damaged by fire. When that was happening, did anyone in an official position suggest that a brigade of the art treasures in the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa, be immediately deployed in rescue. Of course not!

“There are no atheists in foxholes,” is an expression attributed to President Dwight Eisenhauer. I have heard many times, but most often from men who have served in wars. Do you know what the most common response people of all faiths (including atheists), education levels and social strata cry when given horrible and unexpected news about a loss or disaster that seriously impacts them personally is? It is an instantaneous cry to for help: as “Oh God!”

Yet in an emergency we can consciously access the memories of art that we have viewed, or experienced and bring it along to inform and comfort us as we wait in a hospital or watch as emergency responders tend to the situation.

Western religious artists, such as Chagall, Dali, da Vinci, Gentileschi, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt have worked to show biblical stories according to their theology.

The Creation of Adam (cropped), by Michelangelo

I am also a religious artist, but my work is not a representation of a biblical story.

I paint using symbols for every stroke. My focus is always on the symbol set I use. It is the only set of symbols in the world that is alpha-numeric, phonic, and binary. As such they can represent what elementary physicists refer to as strings, the smallest energy and pre-particles of our physical universe.  My symbols are the original Torah font Hebrew letters of the Bible. When you look at an artwork that I have created, all that is really there are strokes that are the letters from specified scripture texts. The words cannot be read as these symbol-strokes However, are interwoven, placed on top of each other, used as glazes, and scattered so that an image appears, such as a landscape or portrait.

Jews and Christians have expressions such as, “We are walking in Torah, or “The Words of God are everywhere.” My work depicts this.

When you have enough visual memories of the art depicting that the Words of the Lord God being everywhere, they can be remembered a comfort you, even inspire you during an emergency.

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Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art.

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