Art by Emily Ham

Chaotic Peace

The observer looks out at the chaos. There exists a barrier between the two, suggesting the lack of control the observer has over what is transpiring on the other side. The observer, who does not have a body, remains in a state of total paralysis.

On one hand, the arbitrary nature of the work can be unsettling. There seem to be figures – people dancing, rivers, trees – but then again, nothing can be made out with certainty.

Sometimes, I find it scary to not know what is going on – not having control makes you feel powerless. Accepting and embracing that sometimes, though, can be surprisingly comforting and even liberating.



The forefront of the work suggests conflict and chaos. The irrationality of the movements is frightening. There seem to be figures in the background, but they are crossed out by the red and grey that streak across.

In this work, I explore the fear of being erased, forgotten, and replaced. We can still see what once was, but not very clearly, as it has been reduced to abstraction. Whatever may have existed before no longer does – at least not in its original form. That is gone.

Emily Ham ’22 is an Economics and Statistics major at Williams College, pursuing a German certificate. She is from New York, NY, but she has also lived in Massachusetts and Italy. She enjoys singing opera and running.

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