Image: by Mark Henson
It would seem to me that art is a creative doubled-edged sword. Confronted with the symbolic language of image, sound and sensorial effect, the original intention and calling behind any work would be quite important, wielding considerable potential power over anyone who is experiencing it. Says Edward de Bono:
One of the purposes of art is to help us stock our mind with further patterns. Art crystallizes patterns of experience so that we can absorb them without having had to live through and learn then by a slow process of induction. Art can also give us a range of experience that we would never otherwise have had. In a sense art is an accelerated life machine.
A riddle, an ephipany, a seed from some deliberate mother of memes. Contemporary art does, however, seem to leave a lot to be desired, say some of its critics. And I wonder myself at the stubborn separation and institutionalization of “art” away from everyday life — an illusion really, unless the desire and power to create is stolen from the individual and the community, such as instilling consumer mentality from birth. Perhaps, if Svetoslav Roerich is right, it is merely a sign of our times, reflecting a kind of spiritual emptiness:
Every period has its own artistic expression. The art are the mirror of the country, the people and its general level. With all the conflicts, strifes, aspirations and hopes. The higher and loftier were the concepts and ideals, the greater were the arts. Just as in a person a highly cultured and evolved type can feed spiritually a whole section of the community, so also a work of art which partakes of the higher ideals, inherent in all evolutionary streams, can influence and satisfy large groups of humanity, through its mysterious influences which are immanent in all its parts. The genius of the artist endows the work of art with that greater life. And the concentrated synthesis of beauty has a tremendous force inherent within its evolution.
Some of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen or experienced in my life were not housed in some institution, that is for certain. What is art, then? Is it really something so tangible like colour choice or technique, labelled and classified as such, or is it something much more subtle like a channelled expression of the numinous?
A force of evolution…?