Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thursday Thoughts...

“A work of art is abundant, spills out, gets drunk, sits up with you all night and forgets to close the curtains, dries your tears, is your friend, offers you a disguise, a difference, a pose.” 

 Jeanette Winterson, from the essay collection Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery

Oh, such a passionate response to what a piece of art can do.

It can move you to tears; it can take your breath away; it can make you sit humbled in its presence; it can make you exclaim out loud and smile…

I imagine we have had some of these responses, not necessarily all of them. But the way Jeanette Winterson describes the abundance of how a work of art can make you feel; the scale and magnitude of the wonder, joy and exuberance of it all, is just fabulous. I love the notion of it sitting up with you all night like a really good friend, drying your tears...

I would love to feel that way about a work of art!

It feels as if it would be completely overwhelming and a life-changing experience. That you would wake the day after a different person, changed in some way as a result of experiencing the work. Powerful and passionate.

I can recall tears as I regarded Michelangelo's "Pieta" at the Vatican; of standing in a room with Rosalie Gascoigne's works and feeling humbled, honoured and without words.  My face has lit up and I have danced around works that made me smile gleefully. And surely, the emotional connection to art is what makes it all worthwhile.

The ability of a piece to shake you, move you, snap you out of wherever you were and place you in a new context because it expresses something so brilliantly…is truly wonderful.

Andy Goldsworthy's installation Garden of Stones at the Museum of Jewish History in New York. Once again, in this city of millions, we were alone. Just the two of us with this work. We sat in silence, quiet and reflective. And the work stayed with us for much of the day as we talked and reflected and considered what it meant, what it represented and how it made us feel. Good art can do that.


  1. Michaelangelo's David does that for me.

  2. Many wonderful words for thought here. I still remember when I saw an exhibit of hannelore baron's small works - very moving experience for me.

    1. Some works can hold you and never let you go Donna can't they?

  3. Amazing quote and strikes a shore with me as every now and then there are works of art we come across, some by well regarded artists and others who manage to create images that just touch a deep raw place and take root there. Ah - wish there were more of those moments. x

    1. I think those moments stay with us don't they Susan - you can recall them and re-experience them; they have a profound impact on us. I'm glad I live in a world where art can do that.

  4. Looking at powerful art has a wonderfully calming effect - I find myself going into another zone often of peace but always of thought and contemplation ... how lucky we are to feel this way ...


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