Art has nothing to do with clarity
does not dabble in the clear
and does not make clear
– attributed to Samuel Beckett, playwright
Reading this quote, I laughed at the irony. That statement about art not needing to be clear … is itself so clearly stated.
And I felt relieved. Beckett’s words remind me that I’m free to set out on a blank page, without demanding that it reveals some crystal clear message or symbol.
But, a question. If art doesn’t provide clarity … then why will people look and listen at all? Of course, we can create purely for our own eyes. But since we’re here sharing on the blogosphere, I guess we’re glad to have an audience too.
If art isn’t clear … how does an audience endure confusion long enough to look, listen and maybe even give more of their time and money for an experience they’ve appreciated?
How painful is it for the human mind to feel confused? We might have a split second fear that we’re “not smart enough” to understand … or feel impatient and irritated … then dismiss the work as ‘cluttered’ or ‘overwhelming‘
If art isn’t clear … how does an audience endure confusion long enough to look, listen and maybe even pay money for an experience they’ve appreciated?
I guess that’s where elements such as colour, narrative, music, wine, structure, framing, composition and white space can all help to keep an audience engaged.
With enough intrigue and reassurance, a human mind might stay with the unknown for at least a few seconds more … and then expand into curiousity and wonder.
Or just journal and share for sheer fun
Meanwhile, I’m happy to play with words and make new pictures … for the sheer joy of breathing, relaxing and creating.
I like the approach used in art therapy, which is for connection with ourselves and others. We might choose to show our work for the sake of self-expression … and we can look and listen to what others have experienced through creating their work. I see the online blogging world as an experience of creative companionship.
So I’m back to the second layer of a new page in my art journal. I have no idea what will come next or how clear it will end up to me or anyone else. Yay. The fun will happen along the way – and in anticipating it.
Ready to get curious?
For some creative inspiration, you might enjoy a few minutes of this visual meditation: From Confused to Curious – www.YourGuidedJournal.com