Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thursday Thoughts...

"What art does is to coax us away from the mechanical and towards the miraculous. The so-called uselessness of art is a clue to its transforming power. Art is not part of the machine. Art asks us to think differently, see differently, hear differently, and ultimately to act differently, which is why art has moral force. 

Ruskin was right, though for the wrong reasons, when he talked about art as a moral force. Art is not about good behaviour, when did you last see a miracle behave well? Art makes us better people because it asks for our full humanity, and humanity is, or should be, the polar opposite of the merely mechanical. 

We are not part of the machine either, but we have forgotten that. Art is memory — which is quite different [from] history. Art asks that we remember who we are, and usually that asking has to come as provocation — which is why art breaks the rules and the taboos, and at the same time is a moral force." 

Jeanette Winterson

I find myself intrigued by the manner in which I keep returning to Ms Winterson's thoughts on art!  I think she writes of art with the soul of an artist and the words of a writer. In my humble view, she gets it.

She does such a beautiful job of expressing why art matters to us, and why we need to promote and protect it from all those who think that if you can't count it, it doesn't count.

But what these words also do for me, is they make me think about art in a way that I haven't been able to fully progress or explore or clarify for myself. Her argument around how art gets to act as a moral force is sublime. Sometimes I read her words and go - that's it! I totally agree; Id never known to think about it that way; but that's how I feel about it.

Isn't that a wonderful gift to give somebody - the opportunity to discover a truth they knew, but didn't know they knew?

I really, really like her progression from thinking differently, through seeing and hearing differently to acting differently - as she says, the transformative power of art.

I also return to Rosalie Gascoigne time and time again. Her art changed the way I saw the world and how I believed in myself. 


  1. deep thoughts on the resonance of Art

  2. Wonderful words - thank you for sharing these thoughts Fiona

    1. Thank you Rosie - I enjoy the pondering and am always happy when someone enjoys it too. Go well.


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