Freedom and Art
Freedom and Art are two things that seem to go hand in hand. Anyone in the Western world cannot be unaware of what is happening in Syria at the moment. The desire to create, love and be free is in every human heart no matter what oppressive regime tries to stamp them out. I was very moved by this beautiful image posted on Facebook during the week.
Whether this is real or a digitally superimposed image, matters not – it is the concept that is important here. It took someone – unknown at this point, to think of the idea in the first place. What a wonderful idea, if we could beautify all the destroyed buildings with wonderful works of art. It is hard to imagine the cost, physically, mentally and emotionally, of living in such devastating conditions. Art on the other hand can be uplifting, restoring beauty where it has been torn down and giving the downtrodden hope for the future.
The ironical thing is that as soon as finances become constrained for what ever reason, the first thing to go is spending on Creativity and the Arts. Freedom and art can become mutually exclusive in times of difficulty. Governments actively destroy great works of art during purges or just stop arts funding. Recently Australia has undergone a round of draconian cost cutting by our government and the latest thing to fall under the axe along with education and health care funding, are many of the Arts projects. One of these is Narva which is our national association of visual artists. There are so many benefits available to artists through this group, including access to a large knowledge base on running an arts business and everything to do with the Arts, funding for artists, and help in so many areas for professional, practicing artists. However the government has decided in its great wisdom that artists no longer need to invest in the country’s cultural development.
The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand word’ is so true. A sculpture, painting or digital piece can fill us with joy every time we look at it. For example the Klimt picture above, immediately transported me back to the first time I saw the original of this work. It is such an intensely beautiful and arresting piece of artwork that it made my heart sing. How powerful is that? It is an experience I continue to hold within me.
When an artwork has such a strong emotional impact on the viewer, they carry that with them forever. What an amazing gift that is. And yet artists are not encouraged in their art practices. Instead we are marginalised and told to, ‘Get a REAL job!’ As if the artist contributes nothing of value to society.
This Weeks Question: How do you think artists contribute to society? Please share your thoughts….
Look For Next Week’s Post: More on my new series of works.