#Mood wasn’t this so 2015 or something like that? Where did that go? #Mood. I loved it. All these emotionally literate hipsters trying to visually capture the idea of a late afternoon sugar rush. Yes that’s a thing, especially if your begrudgingly British like me. I recent weeks for reasons yet to be disclosed I’ve been hanging out with an Art Director friend of mine and we’ve been talking a lot about aesthetics. Me being a trained curator and her being, well, an art director that’s hardly unusual. What has been coming to me though recently on my pathway to Zen Goddess that aesthetics are important. You’d think a four year degree in Art History might have taught you that? That’s why no one should go to left-of-center art schools I suppose (winky face).
The study of The History of Modern Art and Design taught me something else entirely that revolves around the word arbitrary. As I soon discovered much of what we think is meaningless, subjective and well pointless and the only value that anything actually has is the value you give it. Quite liberating actually. If you want to find out more you might want to read up on the power of cult. Modernist Theory is so closely related to creative means of production; that if studied indepthly, it’s hard not to become nihilistic about art, life and well everything. You see how easy it is to spiral down? Thus explaining post-modernism.
Great works of art, whether it be painting, sculpture, architecture, all forms of design or indeed explorations of visual culture (lets say Instagram) have to power to uplift, motivate, inspire and in fact connect us to the divine. One walking tour of Paris confirms that. We all want to be moved, comforted, reassured our at the very least served by the environments that we occupy.
It is also possible to deliberately evoke feeling with aesthetics, as you would with music. Que the cheesy background music over almost every motivational infomercial these days. It’s kind of boring. These perfectly curated and complied content. Show me the mess. I do like to get high on little bit of rainbow. I’ve even have a Pinterest board about it Colour Me Happy.
Given my theoretical basis for understanding aesthetics and on related issues of beauty and the fact that we live in a construct. I am firmly of the opinion that we create our own inner realities. Spiritual development is largely related to non-attachment. That the material world is nothing but a distraction from the metaphysical quest of wholeness. Except of course we are all whole already. The thing is, this curious idea of mood, that can be summed up in dusty old railway stations, a Christmas trees or even the colour of a painted wall and how it detracts and refracts the light as is dances round the room, morning to evening, winter to summer. As celestial being affected by matter and intrinsically connected to material a world it’s hard to not let our visual reality impact our inner reality. Isn’t that after all why we have embodied ourselves in the first place. Whoa this seems to pretty advanced stuff on here today.
Sometimes it can be a little bit challenging for me to know what to write? How to write it? or know who I am writing it for? The best thing that I know to do is to wait. That’s right. I literally find myself having to wait for inspiration. The good news is that on my quest to help heal humans and all the earthlings we impact on I’m finding more and more that where my joy lies is exactly where the trail is leading. Our modern guru masters are always telling me so and now I am beginning to get it.
This week has been remarkable for two reasons one I watched Evan Almighty – yes who would have thunk it and two it’s always better to work in community. Three brains or maybe in this case, souls, are better than one. So Evan Almighty reminded me that the lessons, that we have to learn are not taught to us in the way that we expect. So over the last few weeks I have learned a valuable lesson in commitment. That even though things might not be going to plan, you can’t afford to play small. What I mean by that is that if you really are going to put all your energy into something, you really might as well put all your energy into it. Not only that, I have to get incredibly clear on what it is that I am trying to achieve and also gravitate towards serving in a way that shows who I am and yet also serves me. How do I do that? Oh wait a minute, by being who I am. How easy could it be!!! Yes that easy and yet so much more complicated. It’s such a massive journey of exploration.
So two, working in community. For a lot of years you could say that I have had a some what of a professional block about art. For the most part, I think art is wonderful. However as a trained Art Historian I’ve got a complicated relationship with pretty pictures. So much so that if I had to explain this extensively it may work it’s way down to being a Master’s degree thesis – Something to work for. Anyways. In my soul I’m an art lover, purveyor of beautiful objects, so much so that if I ever had a gallery it would be called Scopophilia (the love of looking). However as many of us have learned or intrinsically know the collection of beautiful objects or even experiences has a limited capacity to create an actionable impact on the landscape of the soul. So in recent decades in art and also within art theory there has been a growing attraction of the idea of anti-aesthetic. Think Banksy and you might get close to what I mean. His messages are powerful and clear however his art cannot necessarily be defined and either beautiful or uplifting. He is passing on a more sinister world view. Hence for me the deliberate absence of a pretty picture postcard life. My spiritual quest though anti-aestheticism, asks me to dig much deeper as to where I find meaning, connection or even hope. Think Rholihlahla Nelson Mandela and his bare cell. Coincidentally, if we join the dots, we might find the connection between the vow of poverty most nuns or monks take when joining a religious order and this man’s exceptional spiritual growth and teachings
There are secrets hidden everywhere.
What I now understand is that my gift for selecting the exquisite, should no longer be put out to wast and instead be utilised for alleviating the suffering of the soul and elevating the spirits just as many a public art gallery was designed to do. It was having a conversation with two people who were rather confused by my academic and somewhat redundant position that persuaded me to re-evaluate my stance, of which I am very pleased. I still retain the right to use my random weekly photographs to illustrate this blog …..