Art & Philosophy; A Meaningful Partnership
Recently I was approached on Instagram by Ardenivanenko (a Philosophy student) enquiring if I would be happy to answer some questions regarding my thoughts on the meaning of art and the impact it has on society.
I was so impressed by the calibre of the questions that I have decided to share both the questions and my answers as a blog post.
When going about creating a new art piece, what is your process?
The thing I love about creating art is the journey into the unknown!
I intentionally start by embracing the random; creating a background layer that is left mostly to chance.
I achieve this initial layer by utilising marbling inks, alcohol inks and melted wax crayons.
I then work into the initial designs using fine liners, gel pens, emulsion, acrylic and anything else I feel will complement the piece.
Where do you get inspiration from for your art?
I gather inspiration from the human experience, not just my own, but the commonalities that draw us all together as a species.
Nature inspires me also. Human nature, animal nature and the natural world.
If i’m not listening to music when I create, I will listen to talks and lectures about interesting subject matters on YouTube.
I would like to think that I am using the process of creation to translate my own interpretations of these concepts as I gain understanding.
To provide some context, my latest “obsession” is the concept of the Logos. Which is really blowing my mind. I am using my art to conceptualise this.
Why do you create art?
The fragility of life keeps me actively moving in a creative direction. The thought of a life without meaning absolutely terrifies me.
I think this gets worse with age. You become aware of your own mortality and that of those closest to you.
My Dad always says:
“Don’t die with the music still in you.”
I always thought yeah sure maybe one day, and now I feel a sense of urgency to contribute to the human experience.
Art and writing are the only ways I know to at least make an attempt to achieve this.
How would you define art, in general?
Art can form connections between people that would otherwise never mix. It can heal personal and societal wounds and educate people who are willing to be truly open to life.
To the Artist it is total freedom and the tightest restraint simultaneously. The creation of Art isn’t always easy. Sometimes it can feel like this horrible mental weight. But once you achieve an outcome it feels amazing.
To the voyeur it is a gateway to meaning and transcendence of suffering.
What do you think is the role of your art in society?
I like the idea of creating meditative art that provides an opportunity for people to experience some respite from the craziness of modern day life.
Equally I would love people to look at my work and see aspects of their own nature/consciousness looking back at them. Almost like “levelling up” in a video game?
In general, what do you think art’s role in society is?
In my humble opinion I believe it takes a huge amount of courage to play the role of the artist. We convey meaning to people and contend with and are possessed by the unknown.
Artists explore and express the full spectrum of emotion and translate this to the viewer. Art makes life’s sufferings more bearable and heightens its beauty.
It can also encourage deep personal, emotional and spiritual exploration.
We have art so that we may not perish by the truth
What do you think is an adequate definition of art?
Art is a collection of fragments of consciousness. It is immortal and can lend itself in different ways across generations.
It’s a reminder that others have contended with the same things that you have. Art provides an insight into society throughout the ages.
Leo Tolstoy believed that art is about evoking one’s feelings in others through their art. Do you agree with this statement? Do you believe that your art may do this for others?
I agree with Tolstoy, but this is just one facet of Art. I’m quite conscious of my emotions. I want to express and feel them fully in a healthy way.
However I do not want to be taken over or ruled by them in my every day life. This can lead to awful decision making and strained interpersonal relationships.
I think art should be approached with the same intention. To integrate both the mind and the heart. I would hope that my art achieved this in a measured and respectful way.
Plato believed that art was dangerous to our society because it caused us to challenge our thinking. With this in mind do you believe that art is dangerous?
Art can definitely be dangerous to society depending on which side you are on. Does the status quo benefit you? Is rapid change a safe process?
If you fully engage with a piece of art be prepared to welcome the wisdom of the work into your life. It can expand and break down an individual world view instantly.
Growth isn’t an easy ride and neither is reshaping your perception of reality. Approach with both caution and excitement.
Art has also been historically dangerous to the artist as the bringer of change. It can be dangerous socially, financially and personally to manifest truth in the form of art.
Aristotle countered Plato’s argument, stating that art clarified our knowledge of reality through a purging of emotion. Do you believe that art has the power to purge one’s emotions?
I wholeheartedly agree!
Engaging in creative endeavours is one of the safest and most productive ways to purge emotions.
There are so many layers to the mind that require peeling away before absolute truth or reality can become accessible.
Creative activity helps to facilitate this process.
Utilising art to purge potentially “harmful” feelings and emotions minimises their impact on those in close proximity. It is an extremely responsible and admirable pursuit.
It would be amazing to hear from other artists and creative folk in relation to the questions put forth.
So please do share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s get a good ol’ fashioned intellectual discourse a brewin’ 🤓