When I started collecting thoughts on this I reckoned I’d get 20 or so easily. Well today the tally has just reached 140 and I can see it’s easily going to be 200 before too long.
It’s just fascinating.
I’m not approaching it from the objective angle several people I’ve mentioned it to have assumed - it’s not a question of ‘Is this particular thing art or not?’. It’s about the meaning of Art. The real meaning.
Turns out it’s not at all simple – and yet it may be. And almost every idea I throw to the winds can be a paradox like that and discussed from the opposite point of view, while both may be multi-stranded. And there are so many; whenever I talk to someone who loves art – be they an art lover or their self an artist – I hear some new ideas or visions.
And of course while many are universally agreed, many more are subjective and some idiosyncratic.
Nearly all may actually be qualified by the substitution of ‘may be’ for ‘is’.
But what is sure is that Art is wonderful, often joyous, extraordinarily complex and at the heart of being human.
I’m tweeting them as they occur to me. (www.twitter.com @jenny_hare ) They may be the basis of a book. But ‘Who are you, Jenny,’ one or two of my sceptical friends are sure to say, ‘to compete with Tolstoy?’
For I believe his is the only book, so far, titled What is Art? As you’d probably expect, his book is densely erudite and academic. So no – of course I’m not presuming to compete with him! Besides, it lost me at the third page of struggle. My book – if I write it – will be (I hope!) an easy, enjoyable to read exploration of all the ideas.
Art, for me, is about wonder and joy and a heartfelt connection with the artwork and artist or, as an artist, a resonance between me and someone who loves one of my paintings. Both give me pleasure.
For us all, art is part of the alchemy of our astonishing world and our life here. It’s a rich, absorbing subject which we can all share simply, beguilingly and captivatingly.
Art is totally, awesomely, gob-smackingly brilliant. Ah – there’s a new one for my list and maybe a Tweet later today!
I wish you joy in art you love.
Love and light, Jenny