We all engage in creative endeavours through our lives. Whether it is painting, poetry, or music the arts run as a common thread throughout our mutual existence. I’ve heard people deride the arts as some bourgeois indulgence for the non-serious population. That’s simply not true. People just don’t give themselves enough credit for their inspired expressions. From how we decorate our spaces to the language we use, artistic articulation is part of being human.
I’ve been a hobby painter for a couple of decades. I claim no great ability, but I have come more and more to understand how it enriches my life. It allows me to comment on my own experience and this interpretation gives me a deeper understanding of my own feelings about my experience in the world. I gain perspective within my creative manifestation.
That likely sounds like a lot of nonsense to some people. I know it does and that’s okay – everyone had their own unique experience and interpretation of life. That’s what I keeping reminding myself of when my sister is telling me what a great singer Celine Dion is and that she doesn’t like how Janis Joplin screams. Each scenario brings about different feelings in different people. We simply aren’t hearing the same things. I can’t say that she’s wrong (even though she is) because I can’t dictate her emotional reaction. In the same note, I cannot disparage the artistic leanings of anyone as I cannot interpret their life from their perspective.
The best art, however, unites us in evoking recognition of our commonalities. I attended one of the Tragically Hip concerts over the summer as did quite a few people I knew. I hear over and over again how they cried during the show. This was said with no shame or hesitancy but with the understanding that crying was the most natural response to the experience. I had seen a showing of some of the works of The Group of Seven at the AGA. A painting by AY Jackson of a Rocky Mountain landscape had me awestruck and I stood with my mouth actually agape at the beauty of it. I watched the impact those paintings had on museum goers and it reflected my own. We aren’t so far apart from each other that we don’t have common emotional experiences.
If you ask a dozen different people about their thoughts on art, you will receive a dozen different responses. The importance of art is not so much on how you engage but that you engage at all – that you participate. It allows you to more fully experience this existence even if it is through cheesy songs.
Keri lives in Boyle Street where she listens to The Tragically Hip – definitely not cheesy!