Conversations with God.
The origins of art, its purpose, and need.
In Art is not About Filling Space, Collection 2, I discussed the idea of rendering down to create room for listening, practicing, and being. Taking steps to quiet yourself to be more aware of our Creator.
Practicing these concepts I realize art is very much about listening, and responding to what you hear. Whether you are the artist or viewer, the question arises;
Who are you listening to?
This question makes art carry a great weight for why art is needed for you and society. Listening leads to an action, which can give way to community, order, beholding, or the lack thereof. We all have a choice, a decision to embrace or reject what is brought forth from our internal listening. A chance to question the direction of life. To see where a society is, the current state of your heart, and if morality is important. Leading to a foreshadowing of a life with the Creator or without. Recognizing our great need for the Giver of Life and His presence. To allow Him to bring order from chaos.
What is art and where did it come from? If we understand that art is about listening and responding, when observing, we can look at the oldest accounts of art and creating in the Biblical account of, The Creation, The Building of the Tabernacle in the Desert, and The First Community.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses saying: “See, I have called the name of Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.
“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
“to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze,
“In cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.
“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in all the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Why is art important? If we understand that art is not about filing space but rather about responding, we can understand its role in a culture. How art shows where a society is culturally. The imagery that is created and looked at, shows what is accepted and embraced in a society, a reflection. If you have a society that is lacking in morals and truth you will have imagery that reflects this. That's why when we look at history we also look at the art that was coming out at that time. Based on the product of the picture you see the factors that were shaping a society.
If we understand that art is about listening, responding, and beholding, we then can see the great need for art in society, to help shape a good culture leading to life. Life begets more life whereas death leads to an end. This question of who are you listening to? can help you to understand if life or death is coming out of you or a society. If a person listens to the thoughts that are being provoked they can use discernment to see a trajectory of a culture, and help to make a change if needed. The type of imagery that is celebrated will show the direction of a culture or a movement.
Art can be a foreshadowing of life with the Creator or without. Because the Creator created life He desires life in you to beget more life, to have communion with you.
To bring order from chaos.
To bring beauty from ashes.