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Carla Butler, Digital Artist: Five things I would change about Jersey

Carla Butler, Digital Artist: Five things I would change about Jersey

Friday 02 August 2019

Carla Butler, Digital Artist: Five things I would change about Jersey


Not all artists use brushes... Digital designer Carla deals in pixels, spending her days illustrating, photographing and editing. But what edits would she make to Jersey?

With the founder of design company Shiny Koala and Art in the Frame Foundation volunteer's background in French and Italian, and having travelled extensively, she considers herself 'worldly-minded' and believes Jersey could flourish if only it would position itself as more of a global player.

Having just finished exhibiting in a photographic exhibition at The Harbour Gallery Jersey, in which she showed images of Jersey edited in a vintage style to reflect Jersey's rich past, Carla has spent some time reflecting on Jersey's future and the ways in which she would change it...

1. Arts appreciation

With today’s STEM-orientated curriculum and a lesser focus on the arts in schools, students are missing out on the freedom to be creative and experience culture – all because these so-called fringe subjects are no longer perceived as important to the progression of humanity.

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Pictured: "The ability to switch off, be creative, and express is one of the greatest gifts humanity has."

Whether it’s through painting a picture, acting in a play or playing in a band, the arts provide a means to help with emotions and conflicts. They also provide a way to share ideas and concepts among peers, promote collaboration, and spark the imagination to produce society’s next ‘big ideas’. 

The ability to switch off, be creative, and express is one of the greatest gifts humanity has, and it is a gift we are neglecting. 

Everyone from small children to great-grandparents should be making time to be creative, allowing their minds breathing room to disconnect, process feelings and articulate ideas that they are ordinarily unable to do so.

2. Take a stand for our island

With lethargy and political disinterest comes a disconnection between the public and the government that is there to serve them and their interests. We need to develop a meaningful and transparent connection with our government – one which cultivates interaction and consultation over decisions affecting everyone living on this little rock.

All our politicians seems to do is dwell in the past, harping back to the “good old days of Jersey”. 

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Pictured: Carla thinks islanders need to change and show that they care about the island.

As the government is also massively bureaucratic with little accountability, the conclusion is that WE need to change, and show that we DO care about our island – whether it be treating employees fairly for the work they do, modernising our healthcare system for the future, diversifying our economy or ensuring the next generation grows up well-rounded and mentally stable enough to cope with the future ahead.

This is OUR island, WE need to stand up for it!

3. Not everyone is wired the same!

Society does a great job at celebrating and rewarding “normal”, but the fact is, we are not all wired the same!

There has to be so much more understanding, compassion and kindness towards those with differently wired or “neurodiverse” brains. 

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Pictured: Carla says there should be more "understanding, compassion and kindness" towards those with differently wired or “neurodiverse” brains.

We have to be mindful of others, and not make immediate judgements based on first impressions. The child you see screaming in the aisles of Waitrose while you look on disapprovingly might be autistic and their world has just come crumbling down as the shop has run out of the brand of cereal they eat every morning, at the same time, with the same bowl, with the same spoon – a routine that helps them makes sense of the chaotic “normal” world they live in.

Having worked with autistic kids and having a partner and friends with neurodiverse brains, I have learned how our own internal biases prevent us from seeing the bigger picture. It is only through understanding each other’s views, that we can reach common ground. 

4. Yes we can-nabis

Cannabis, in its natural, unmodified state does wonders for humans and their bodies.

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Pictured: "Awareness of cannabis and its benefits for medicinal purposes should be increased," Carla thinks.

Awareness of cannabis and its benefits for medicinal purposes should be increased throughout all of society and then legalised for medicinal use, in line with a rapidly growing number of countries throughout the world.

There is a wave of change sweeping the globe on this matter and it would be lovely for Jersey to be ahead of the curve, rather than end up in its usual place of last adopter.

5. Let's be 'real'

Social media is all too often misinterpreted as reality, rather than the filtered and edited version of life it really is. 

It’s only now that we are seeing a turning point in the information age, understanding the harm done through the stylised imagery promoted by ‘influencers’, tricking people into believing the ‘perfect life’ exists and thereby creating negativity towards their own lives. 

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Pictured: Carla thinks everyone should be educated about new technologies and the virtual space.

The internet has also allowed for the fast spread of false information, which can cause fear and divides in communities.

We need education for the older generations to understand new technologies as they emerge, and for the younger to understand the world that exists outside of the virtual space.

We need to use the internet and technology as a way of bringing us closer and enhancing mutual understanding – but that can only be done by people being truthful about the ‘real’ them.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not the Bailiwick Express. 

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