In a traditionally male-centric world, I find it a breath of fresh air to see both men and women stepping up and encouraging the power of the feminine. To me, especially in a time where women's empowerment usually consists of Instagram memes and platitudes, it is refreshing to see people take action and use their creativity and platforms to highlight and celebrate women.
One recent example of this that really inspired me was the latest painting from iconic artist Justin Bua. Groundbreaking in his field, Bua's latest work is no exception. Especially given that Bua is a man, the fact that he chose to use his creative prowess, distinctive artistic ability, and paintbrush to highlight the beauty, power, and strength of the feminine in a visually poignant way is compelling. I instantly connected with this piece the first time I saw it because of the profundity of the feminine expression it depicts. "The Power of Woman" is a stunning work of art that reflects the incredible sovereignty and depth of women. The painting is incredibly impressive — both in terms of its size (it measures six feet tall) and its message: it tells a powerful story about feminine strength, creativity and empowerment.
The painting portrays a woman holding the Earth, supporting it and all that she is. Conjuring a renaissance of female, Bua's latest creation makes a statement about how women are the ultimate divine force:
"What is really happening is the Earth is all powerful. It represents fertility and women as the ultimate power of that. In the painting, you can see the Earth displacing the hard, masculine cement and stone, speaking to the power of women to shift things, soften, and create."
This painting moved me because it speaks to the commanding capacity of women from a personal perspective deeply rooted in the intimate experiences of Bua's life and upbringing. The influential experiences of being raised in New York City by a single, working class mother and having raised his now 12-year-old daughter as a single parent, have given Bua a reverence and respect for women:
"Women are the key to life, they certainly have been in my existence. In my experience women have always been the people that I know I can rely upon, to me they represent stability."
I deeply respect Bua as an artist because he used his canvas as a tool to showcase the way he sees women: as the essence of Mother Earth. When I look at this stunning work of art it serves as a reminder to me that the future is female and women are the fulcrum of our world. Especially given that this painting was done by a man, it highlights how we can all work together to honour and empower women.
By supporting and enabling the creativity, courage and capacity of women we can celebrate self-made women who are independent and are birthing success in a primarily male-centric culture. I know that through innovative mediums and beautiful paintings such as "The Power of Woman" we can all be inspired to look beyond the cliché sayings and women's empowerment niceties and be reminded that our power lies in taking action — to be creative and hold our world in our own hands.