Chris Berens


mixed media on panel
26 x 18 cm 2022

Henry has been all alone for as long as he can remember. He lives on his own private planet. Alone with his thoughts, his dreams and his imaginary friends, to whom he declaims his poems. You might feel sorry for Henry, but there is no need, he says. He has a hard shell that suits him well, an armor for protection so he feels no affection. So he says.

Sitting on his tiny planet, he looks up at the stars. He so desperately wants to be somewhere else, anywhere else, he decides to leave his planet and starts to make the journey in search of other worlds, other planets, other moons, other dreams and maybe even new friends. One given moment, between Sunday evening and Monday morning, he finds himself on yet another planet, enjoying the sight of yet another group of creatures living together, laughing together and he smiles.

But it is a sad smile. Not a smile of recognition, not even a smile of craving, but a smile of knowing what is missing in his life. The sadness suddenly overwhelms him and he can’t bear to watch the happy bunch anymore. Instead, he looks away, to the direction he came from. And there, among the millions of stars, he sees his own private sun, and slowly orbiting in front of it, his teeny tiny planet he calls home. And he mumbles: “My world's sunne Becomes a starre elsewhere"

Slowly his smile returns to his beautiful face, he stands up and recites:

“The frigid spheres that 'bout them fare; Which of themselves quite dead and barren are, But by the wakening warmth of kindly dayes, And the sweet dewie nights, in due course raise. Long hidden shapes and life, to their great Maker's praise.”

The creatures around him look at him and they smile as Henry’s armor starts to crack and crumble. And throught the cracks his light startst to show, for this whole new world to see his beauty, that is, in fact, out of this world.

HENRY has the power to rise above himself. To look at himself from another perspective. He has learned that even the most intense feelings, good or bad, look small and insignificant from a distance. And whatever you feel in comparison to others, the opposite is also true, when looked at from another angle.

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