Sunday, November 15, 2015

Art is more than the "finishing touch"

(I needed to write this blog after having listened to inspiring art activist
and Emmy Award winning documentary and filmmaker Deeyah Khan
who spoke at UNESCO on 13 November 2015

Art is the most deeply human form of expression we have. It connects us to ourselves, to what we are and feel as human beings. It creates a form of ambiguity in which we can - strangely enough - recognize ourselves. It produces a kind of "mist" that magically becomes a mirror, like a song that makes us "overflow" instantly because our soul resonates with it. Art cannot explain us, it just moves us. It is us.    

It would be a mistake to put art aside as mere entertainment, a sort of "frivolous thing". I do understand that we first need good health, a job, food and shelter to be able to enjoy art. But art is more than just enjoyment: it is also our unique way to express human life. Without art we would lose the creative muscle inside of us that enables us to explore our reality through the kaleidoscope of dance movements, chalk, wood, marble, paint, words or music notes. Our understanding of reality would become too direct if we discard the “art lens” through which we can access the hidden layers in our day-to-day reality.

Someone once told me that the two most important things in a house are the painting you hang on the wall and the sofa you put in front of it to enjoy it. That observation changed the way I look at homes, art and human life. It taught me that art is not the "finishing touch" but rather the "human touch" that we must place first. It creates the space in which basic things like identity and freedom can come alive and take shape. Why is this space so vital for us? Because although not everyone may have a comfortable sofa to sit on, there’s an artist in every person.
Twitter: @Oosterenvan

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