In an economy such as this, creative endeavours are often seen as leisure indulgences. The greater majority of us are preoccupied with trying to pay the bills to have much time or money remaining to enjoy cultural activities. When one is struggling to put food on the table, art is not a priority. This is why such activities as visiting a gallery or museum can be seen as bourgeois. I, however, don’t agree with this analysis.
I’ve been a hobby painter for over a decade. There is nothing that can ease stress and tension like pulling out the paints and splattering them all over a canvas. Big bold blobs of colour relieve my troubles. It is deeply satisfying to create. I’ve suffered and struggled and wondered how to pay the rent, but none of those episodes of my life have detracted from the value I find in art both as a participant and observer.
Art and creation are meant for everyone. It is simply a means of expressing those higher powers that manifest themselves through our daily lives. The experience of expression is widely varied. Some people use paints, some utilize words, others employ metals. On a personal level, it is unimportant the medium – just that the message is expressed. Every single one of us has something to communicate though we may not know exactly what that may be. Of course, what one person may chose to express is not always what another may want to partake in.
Art can elicit a range of responses from individuals. One can feel a series of different emotions in viewing a piece of work. Others may see something different than you. My husband continuously suggests that I should have a bird somewhere in my paintings. A bird. However, any bird that flies through my canvas is going down. Art is meant to draw out a response, any response, so that reaction can be examined and the base root of it discovered. It’s through this discovery that we come to better understand our own nature. Do I dislike birds? Not at all! I just don’t think one belongs in every painting!
An advantage of being in this world is the experiences it holds. Art is a means to express this joy, pain, suffering, and peace. As we all partake in these varying experiences, we should undergo the struggles of expressing what these events mean to us to further discover our own humanity. As we explore the world we uncover ourselves. Art is a tool in solidifying how our experiences have impacted us.
This may all just sound like disjointed rambling from a biased, artsy person. That may well be true. However, by putting out my thoughts and ideas I empower you to come to your own conclusions about what I’ve presented. You are free to think whatever you please. You are free to express whatever you please. The point is that you have to have something to say.
Although, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps art is for the birds after all.
Keri lives and paints in Boyle Street. Don’t bug her about painting birds. It won’t be pretty.