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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Art from the heart

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Art is essential something that challenges us, or moves us in some way.
Emotionally, intellectually or spiritually it’s something that stirs us personally.

Art is not simply aesthetic or decorative in nature so much as provocative.

It’s about rattling our sensory cage and inducing a reaction. This reaction is not always a conscious one and may have less to do with intellect than with our emotion. Above all, art is about emotional honesty.

The Italian film director Federico Fellini once said: ‘All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography’.

Art is a process of revealing ourselves to the world. While this disclosure may be private in nature, it can also expose things common to all humans.

For this reason, good art is both individual and collective at the same time.

Art also comprises the last three letters of the word ‘fart’, which is what it
becomes when we over-intellectualise it. This reduces art to a concept that
requires explaining via a convoluted language.

Post-modern language is often used to compensate for the paucity of an art work, because institutional art judges its students primarily on their academic ability, rather than their artistic merit.

Expressing emotion does not earn points in this system, while speaking
plainly is uncool.

Intellect without emotional candour is like a dental surgery, like something technically impressive, yet cold and somewhat empty.

For something to truly speak to us, it has to come from the heart.

R J Poole, Lismore

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  1. Art is the spirit of Mankind. That is why there is so little Art in this area.
    Look at this rock wall. It will check the spirit level.

  2. Len – I think there are many people in this area (Far North Coast) who claim the title of ‘artist’. However, of those who do so, only a small percentage are made up of dedicated, long-term professionals. Like myself, there are a number of artists who have no local ambition, but market themselves further afield.

    Whatever their status, I believe the region’s art community would benefit from letting go of the institutional approach and adopting a more independent stance. Part of this process also involves letting go of the academic language that has infested art culture.

    Phrases like ‘challenging the paradigm’ or ‘pushing back the boundaries’ make little or no sense in today’s diverse world of unlimited experimentation. It’s all been done before and likewise, these terms have been done to death!

    I think speaking plainly from the heart is a more effective means of communicating what your art is really about.


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