Thursday, January 19, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“Life has an inside as well as an outside. Consumer culture directs all resources and attention to life on the outside. What happens to the inner life? Art is never a luxury because it stimulates and responds to the inner life. We are badly out of balance. I don’t think of art / creativity as a substitute for anything else. I see it as a powerful expression of our humanity - and on the side of humanity under threat. If we say art is a luxury, we might as well say that being human is a luxury.” 

Jeanette Winterson

I have been re-listening to Jeanette Winterson on the ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler, and oh my, what a woman.  I really like listening to her voice, as well as being a huge fan of what she has written and how she writes.  My copies Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and Written On The Body are both foxed, and dog-eared and it is interesting given all the culls of books I have had over the decades, that these two still travel with me - along with the subject of this interview Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Anyhow, of more recent times, she has also written several essays and articles on how important art is; after her own little moment of discovery.  And of course, because she is Jeanette Winterson she writes about art and beauty in a beautiful, insightful, heartfelt and accessible way.

I agree with her thoughts in this quote - that art nurtures and supports the interior life; that art is not a luxury that it is in fact what makes us human and makes life and living worthwhile. We need the arts - they shock us, they nurture us, they make us weep, they make us feel, they make us look again, they help us understand, the let us know experiences or emotions are scary a place we would face if we didn't have art in the world to help us make sense of it, and to make our way within it.

A detail from Jennifer Coyne Qudeen's Sketchbook Project book which we visited in Brooklyn Art Library in December 2013. An inside and an outside....


  1. Jennifer's detail is a lovely expression of the quote you chose this week. I would have to agree about the inside/outside balance being off, more and more so. I'm trying to formulate a thoughtful response to this fact, but must admit that I am at a loss. I do wish, at the very least, that the value of art-making could be accepted as a given - as essential...

    1. Glad you like the image Lisa - I was looking for something else then this chose itself! An interesting point from which to begin pondering and exploration for work isn't it? It matters hugely and we need to find ways to give voice to it...I hope you can share your ponderings and reflections too sometime. Go well.

  2. Insightful as always. And so very appropriate right now when so many are striving to achieve that delicate inside/outside balance...myself included. Surreal to see one of my rusty marks so in focus and sure of itself. Thank you my dear friend for choosing it.

    1. Such a time and such a struggle J. The rusty circle just popped out when I was thinking I was looking for something else; and it was perfect! It does look strong and confident up close like that doesn't it? Go well.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.