Friday, May 30, 2008

Jesus Saves You (From Me)

When I was invited by a well-known charity to contribute two of my works to an art auction to benefit their local youth initiatives I happily agreed. I framed two small works, valued at around $3,000 each, and delivered them in person. I also used my substantial mailing list to help publicise the event.
Yesterday, on the eve of tonight's auction, I passed by the gallery where the works by various artists had been hung for a 48-hour preview. Mine were nowhere to be seen.
I asked one of the auction's organisers where my paintings were. Red-faced with embarrassment, he explained that they'd been 'withdrawn' because, "World Vision is a Christian organisation and some key people were offended by the content". Neither of the two, somewhat surreal works I donated were particularly scandalous and only one hinted at anything sexual.
"Surely you must have known what sort of work I do when you invited me," I said.
"Well, I tried to access your site and your blog four times but they're barred by the charity's server," he told me. "In fact, I've been asked to explain why I was trying to access unauthorised, 'adult content'."
"And yet you were quite happy to accept the works when I came by to give them to you."
"Umm, yes. I only found out about all this yesterday."
"And you didn't think to let me know?"
I took the two works back. If I ever offer them for sale again, it will be for Bill Henson's defense fund (not that he needs my money for it).
Next time a charity hits me up for help, I'll just send a cheque.
I wonder if I drew a naked breast on the back of it, would they refuse to cash it?


Anonymous said...

That sucks.
Sorry to hear it Hazel.

ian gordon said...

I can't remember the exact quote, but it's something like :

"First they burn the books, and then the people".

The rise and rise of these devout religious movements scares the sh*t out of me.

Anonymous said...

Love the so-called Christian honesty – not owning up and telling you and letting you continue to promote the event on their behalf!

Jodie said...

Interesting, too, how artistic content is seen as somehow more offensive than, say, famine, disease, human rights violations (all of which your submissions and consequent raised funds could have alleviated)... Love their priorities.

Anonymous said...

So they were just going to keep your work and not tell you? Or would they have just said that no one bought them? What would have happened to them if you hadn't checked on it?

More than a little dishonest of them yeah?

drips of paint said...

You seems to have a good heart and are straight forward person and Jesus knows that ...

Anonymous said...

Please don't dish all Christians over it... it's unfair to put all people into the same category. If an athiest peeved you off, would you blame ALL athiests?

I think not.

Anonymous said...

Next time you should find out the nature of the charities to which you donate!

Too often so-called Christian "charities" spend much of their effort and resources on prosthelytizing. Further, some Christian sects actively fight against womens rights, gay rights, etc. Who'd want to contribute to one of those?