• Cindy Zampa


Legacy of George Bernard Shaw

“You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

Writer, political activist, and playwright, George Bernard Shaw's legacy has far reaching influence in the realms of theatre, culture and politics. Some have boldly stated that he is second only to Shakespeare when it comes to the quality of his plays. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, so it seems there is merit in that comparison.

Throughout his life Shaw expressed many ideas and beliefs that were controversial and provocative. He refused, for instance, to accept the normal grammatical and spelling conventions of the English language, wanting instead to create a new version of the English alphabet. To this end, his will directed that a large portion of his assets be placed in trust to pay for a fundamental reform of the English alphabet into a phonetic version of only forty letters. This new alphabet, known as the Shavian alphabet, was largely ignored or outright rejected.

While I can't claim to be an expert on George Bernard Shaw, his life, or his literary impact on the world, I can speak to the specific words that have influenced me in a dramatic way. According to Shaw:

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

This painting is many layered, in both its physical creation as well as in a metaphorical way. It is rich in symbolism for me regarding mistakes made; shifting mindset after new learnings; creating a positive life from dark beginnings; honouring the shadow parts of self; healing through art.

This painting represents the legacy I've chosen to accept from George Bernard Shaw.

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