'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

20 September 2010


Why Be Creative?
Why did art begin? Images exist in caves  and on rocks that go back tens of thousands of years before recorded history.  What was drawn in the sand has blown away with the winds of time and what may have been etched on bark and wood has also rotted into the landscape. But our evidence exists from a hand image spat onto the walls of a cave and the stick like hunter and the hunted to the eventual pictographic hieroglyphs (which may have been invented and formalised at the dictate of the Pharaoh Scorpion around 3200 BCE). The oral traditions were usual but memory can be erased. Something to say 'I was here, or a marker for survival  required something more reliable and permanent. This need to record collected wisdom most probably led to the formalisation of art. A man may not be able to read, but if he can see he can learn from images, like the instructional decorations on temple and church walls. Writing after all is just the simplification of the representation of thoughts. A few letters can describe an image, a scene, a warning or a full story. Art was meant to communicate, both with man and with the divine. No doubt, to me however is that all was not necessarily philosophical. I believe we have changed little and it is possible that much that we now ponder over would have been just for fun. Perhaps an archaeologist will search for profound meaning where none exists. Decoration may just be no more than play, doodling or making something pretty or crude. Not every caveman had the wisdom of Plato. Also, we should keep in mind that mistakes can be made. However irrespective of its history, Art like rich food should be appreciated, examined, but taken in moderation. Gallery overload teaches you nothing. On several occasions I have galloped through museums glancing at recognisable masterpieces, notching up another piece in a catalogue as if I were in competition. Contemplation and understanding is what is required. Yes, a book and a reproduction can reveal much, but like a photo of a loved one it compares not with the flesh and blood experience of being close to the real thing. 
The Gallery of Modern Art and The Qld. Art Gallery;- the major places of exhibition in my city. Click to see better.
I have been fortunate in my life to have known many artists. While having no talent of my own, as advised by someone when I was young, I certainly admired and encouraged creativity in others. Every now and then I see or hear that a painting or other art work, done by someone know or once knew, is being hung in the National Gallery or elsewhere. Occasionally I see them interviewed on the news or in a magazine. In fact one was on television yesterday as I write this. I still await news of the success of others I had hoped would flourish. Yes I do look for familiar names.

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