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The Dignity of Fine Art
Human beings have a profound relationship with art that is unlike any other relationship known to us. The dignity of art lies in the way it allows us to express our stories and to connect to one another. Art unlocks the unspoken dialogue, desires, and intentions of the soul. This is true for the artist, but also for the way the art is interpreted uniquely by the appreciator - the viewer.
The dignity of fine art allows us to transcend the accepted boundaries of each other's most intimate thoughts and emotions in the most powerful, deep yet appropriate manner. The psychology of art perspective. The artist's creation enters the world and achieves the connection that often cannot be achieved through direct conversation. This is the true dignity of art.
The desire and ability to express our self through art is a defining feature of humanity. While we draw from the wonder of the natural world around us, we have an innate need to express our inner journeying through our own arrangement of the mediums available to us. The result is art.
The dignity of fine art expresses the subconscious,
unfathomable, incomprehensible depths of the human soul and then, remarkably, invites the viewers into the experience, to share in it and discover their own experience from it. Even more remarkable than this is the unsuspected journey taken by the artist in surrendering to the creative process, the art becomes the "teacher", the artist becomes the source, the viewer becomes the co-creator of the artwork, not just observer.
Art builds the bridge between the inner workings of the human soul and the outward creation of those intangible world. We can learn from the art about ourselves by having free entry into our most private areas, our lives. It is a nonjudgemental co-creator, carefully helping us share the way we view the world, what we believe, how we wish to act. This is the ultimate dignity of art. Art is the "ancient therapist," the welcome bond between us all, the unimposing guest since the dawn of consciousness.
Art has always been purposeful within culture, religion, and society at large. No other phenomenon in existence has the ability to be practical, useful and implementable in life while at the same time being able to transcend the boundaries between us and within us as individuals. Take for example the Sistine Chapel. An incredible work of architectural art that was originally created for religious purposes in 1473, yet people from all walks of life visit to this day to experience its magnificent artworks.
Art provokes the emotions that lay dormant inside of us that we may never have had drawn to the surface. The way in which each individual experiences the same piece of art, is a reflection of their point in their own life's journey. It is these discoveries of ourselves where art creates opportunities for us to grow and change the way we see the world or the way we wish to engage with it.
To create art and to experience another's unique expression, through this of you carefully selected place for reflection, are the hallmarks of wonderment and pleasure. This is when art bear their own dignity that defines what it is in itself, and, in your presence, together with you - you are the co-creator.
The dignity of art is the ancient bond between humanity and our natural world. While nature has always been the most infinitely complex and awe-inspiring thing known to us, we have pursued ways of expressing it and using it to express ourselves since the beginning of human consciousness.
The dignity of fine art is perhaps most clearly recognized in its relationship to human beings. Our desire to create art is one of our defining human features. There is no other species that utilizes its resources to express itself in infinite amounts of ways like humans have done since the dawn of humankind itself. Since the beginning of recorded history we have created art; often using art itself as a means for our record keeping.
We can see this in the way that the Indigenous Australians, who are likely to be one of the oldest living cultures in the world, drew their history on cave walls. The descriptive and beautiful artworks are some of the oldest forms of art known to us, dating back as far as 80,000 years.
There are many other prehistoric cave artworks across Africa, Indonesia and Europe that date back as far as 70,000 years BC. By this we can see that not only have we always desired to create art but that art is very much a part of what makes us human.
One could argue that everything in existence in our natural world is art, including ourselves. Though we weren’t the creators of the natural world, nature is perfect in its tangible expression. Human beings have simply put a name to our own expressions of all that we can perceive, consciously and subconsciously. This highlights the dignity of art.
Art, fine arts in its total and absolute dignity, is a never-ending cycle as we experience life around us, internalize this in our personal and unique ways and then release this in the form of art. It is the means by which our inner worlds are transformed to our physical and shared outer world.
The dignity and life of art is a continuous cycle as we take it into ourselves and then pass it back again. We gain our inspirations not only from the natural world but from other artists' works. By this we change the environment that we draw on, internalize it and then use it to create art again. And so, art forever evolves as we continue to change our shared world via the art itself.
Art today would not be the same without the art of yesterday, and the art of yesterday would not be what we have without the beauty of our natural world.
This is the dignity of art. That our world is such a superb art form in itself, unmatched by any individual creation and forever beckoning us to draw our inspirations from it. Not only does art express our deep human experience but it forever nourishes itself as one creation inspires the next. The dignity of art not only expresses our complex human lives but is largely a part of what makes life a phenomenon in itself.
Terence, Bruce & Thomas talk about Dignity Art and what it will aim to do once it is fully launched this fall. To learn more about Dignity Art Program, visit lovebeyondwalls.org
Video: Dignity Art Story - Part I
Beijing-born artist and social activist Ai Weiwei moved to Berlin in 2015. He discusses with Gereon Sievernich the impact of his time in the German capital on his work and thoughts on the intertwined relationship between art and activism.
Video: Ai Weiwei: Art, Migration, and Human Dignity
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The Dignity of Fine Art
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