Tricia Hague-Barrett – Artist of the Month of Kalimat (Words) & Interview

Tricia Hague-Barrett earned a Diploma of Art and Creativity with Honors, from The Learning Connexion in Wellington, New Zealand. She has worked with children teaching art, and has taught art from home. She is a mother of five, and grandmother to 12, and a great-grandmother of 2. Many of her paintings have been sold. She was born in Carterton, New Zealand, however she grew up in Palmerston North. She put art aside for decades, thinking she had no talent at all. Her interest is in the great religious teachings of the past, and sending out onto the worldwide web the spiritual principles of a new world. Tricia worked as a radio announcer for AM1206 Community Radio, BahaiTime Program, for 12 years. She has created radio programs for the Marshall Islands and currently creating short videos regarding aspects of the Baha’i Faith for YouTube.  She invites to visit her YouTube Channel.  In the meantime, I asked her some questions and these are her replies regarding her thoughts about art and artists.

 

 

All Things Baha’i:  What is art to you, Tricia?

 

I don’t believe that art comes from us, but that art comes through us.  Some are susceptible to it and some are not.  Try to imagine this – I believe that those who have passed from this world into the spiritual world are a source of artistic inspiration. Their influence is there for everyone to tap into and that they are always looking and ready for those receptives souls to influence and to help guide their hand.   In fact, not one person is left without artistic abilities.   Every person can create.  The chef, the person who designs vases of flowers, the knitter, those who create clothing, all are artistic in their work. We tend to forget this and only attribute to the painter & sculptor as an artist. The trick is in doing the best you can, with what you have been gifted. However, it is a constant learning process, and if one stops learning, one stops being creative. On many occasions I have heard people say to me, “I can’t draw!” and I ask them to put the last word on that sentence…. “YET!”  This gives them a chance to learn.  We often fool ourselves about our potential capacity to do things.

 

All Things Baha’i:  What are some of the Baha’i Writings that have inspired you as an artist?

 

What greater encouragement can be imagined than getting closer to God while doing art.  I am always inspired by the Bahá’í Writings, and many of them speak of the next world, and still others tell us that the act of creating art, is the same as worshipping God.

 

“I rejoice to hear that thou takest pains with thine art, for in this wonderful new age, art is worship. The more thou strivest to perfect it, the closer wilt thou come to God. What bestowal could be greater than this, that one’s art should be even as the act of worshipping the Lord? That is to say, when thy fingers grasp the paintbrush, it is as if thou wert at prayer in the Temple.”
(Compilations, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith) (Translated from the Persian) [12]

 

 

The next quotation also moves me.  Teaching children art has been my highest wish and I tried hard to achieve that during my artistic days.

 

“Among the greatest of all great services is the education of children, and promotion of the various sciences, crafts and arts. Praised be God, ye are now exerting strenuous efforts toward this end. The more ye persevere in this most important task, the more will ye witness the confirmations of God, to such a degree that ye yourselves will be astonished.”
(Translated from the Persian) [13] (Compilations, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

 

All Things Baha’i:  What inspiration do you draw upon for your creations?


Apart from the Bahá’í Writings, I am always inspired by going to art galleries or coming in contact with other artists on the web.   I hope to see many more artists and their works in due course.   Because of my young age (71), I am unable to physically do as much as I would like, so I spend a lot of my time on the computer designing graphics to spread the Teachings of the Bahá’í Faith. Over the years, I have tried many different artistic styles and luckily I am not stuck in any one genre.

      

Click on image to enlarge!

            
All Things Baha’i:  At what time in your life did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

I was sitting with my father watching him draw and I had a strong feeling come over me that I too wanted to draw.  I realized that I wanted to be an artist also.  This waxed and waned over the years but, never left me entirely.  From an early age, art was a part of my life through the following influences:

I was raised in the early years by my father, who was a beautiful artist in his own right. His father, my grandfather, was an artist too, but his medium was in creating beautifully embroidered tablecloths similar to this one; unfortunately, these are few and far between and most are lost today.  I have one which is packed away somewhere but would take too long to find.  

 

This is not a painting of my grandmothers as they are all lost I believe.

My grandmother also was an artist. She painted oil paintings of ballet dancers and still life.  I remember seeing her walls at home covered entirely in paintings of hers.

 

My father could sketch animals with pencil and they would look real.  I remember wishing that I could be an artist like him.  He taught me a little about how to draw hands, feet, and profiles from the side.  But that was all.  

 

 

 

By the time I went to College (equivalent to American High School) and was in form 3, and 4 (similar to Junior and Senior Year), I had earned first place in the school for art, but I cannot remember what it was that I used as a medium, or technique, however, I do seem to remember fire being involved, and the use of ink and sketching with cardboard.    
   
All Things Baha’i:  How has your artwork helped you to teach the Faith?

 

I have much of my artwork hanging on the wall in my home, and many who come to my house comment and ask me if I created them and the meaning behind them.  Quite often, their reaction to my explanation will lead to questions about the Baha’i Teachings.  It is wonderful to see their reactions.  Often I have sat down at a canvas and thought, “Ok, what am I going to do with this?”  I have visited art galleries and observed what others can do and thought, ‘Wow! Gosh, I want to try that too.’  However, once I give it a shot, it never looks right, but when I ask the Concourse to assist, paintings take shape and I am always amazed by what eventuates.  Can I truly take credit when it is otherworldly?  The spirit of those who have gone before makes paintings far more interesting than I could ever make.  I learned the techniques and use of the products, but how I spread the paint around the canvas is out of my hands I feel.  So, as I can see from those quotations I shared recently, I took from it, that those who have left this world are actively participating in this world by guiding our hands in our artwork. 

 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:

 

“All Art is a gift of the Holy Spirit. When this light shines through the mind of a musician, it manifests itself in beautiful harmonies. Again, shining through the mind of a poet, it is seen in fine poetry and poetic prose. When the Light of the Sun of Truth inspires the mind of a painter, he produces marvelous pictures. These gifts are fulfilling their highest purpose, when showing forth the praise of God.”
(Lady Blomfield, “The Chosen Highway” (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1954), p. 167) [23] (Compilations, The Importance of the Arts in Promoting the Faith)

 

All Things Baha’i would like to thank Tricia for her time and for sharing her art and life with us.