art, creativity and beauty
Celebrated Brazilian photographer Sebastian Salgado was accused of making pictures which were ‘too pretty’ even as he photographed serious or harsh subjects°. In the world of art, the concept or the use of beauty is apparently now a passé, an old joke, a cliché°°. But can anyone think of a better refuge which could make the world appear as splendid than pursuit of arts? An artistic vision could make a subject or a situation beautiful, mysterious or fantastic, or all of it.
It is a pity, the traditional streams of arts receive a low priority in the modern education system. Children who wish to pursue arts are discouraged because this field does not fetch many lucrative jobs. I do not have a formal training in any branch of arts – I am a student of economics. But the solace and inspiration I draw from the world of arts, artistic endeavours and artists are tremendous.
Creativity to me is an essence of living, the most important ingredient for making art, a process through which a non-materialistic or an abstract idea could take life (and possibly turn into a materialistic product) and, a means of finding beauty and humour in the most hopeless of situations. Here, by arts I mean visual arts, music, performing arts, literature or scientific pursuits.
The word creativity is frequently heard these days. Managements and human resources in the corporate world have decided their employees should be ‘creative’ for their companies to do better. Without deriding such a trend, I will say creativity could be and frequently is, much more than making a commercially viable product. I use the term ‘much more’ in the sense of requiring more mental faculties, exposure and flexibility than a corporate environment would typically provide (apparently there are workplaces which offer considerable flexibility of time and ideas, I haven’t worked in any such).
Coming back to the point with which I began this post: in my humble opinion, while beauty in arts may not be relevant in the modern context, arts itself is still quite relevant. I am writing this post not to advocate giving arts a high priority in anyone’s life (though that will be great) but to simply state my feelings about arts. No one has managed to circumscribe our dreams yet. A creative force takes one a step further – by transforming dreams into a medium of fantasy, choice or comfort, which helps in making art and, glorify and beautify our lives.
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© Sanchita Chatterjee 2015-16
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