With the urgency of the world’s focus on protecting our lives at a scale we have never known, while communities and economies risk perilous collapse, it can be difficult to put creative practice in perspective.
And yet there is nothing more grounding than the practices that compel us.
Art makes the laughter rise from our bellies, the tears well in our eyes, the courage fill our bodies.
Art draws on the oldest and richest traditions we have, rearticulating them through hands whose instincts craft new techniques, new objects.
Art expands our thinking.
Art reconfigures us into new spaces, new experiments, new galleries, new prospects, new publics.
Art searches our emotions and finds new depths, new intensities.
Art isolates us into curious, inspired beings – at the very same time as it connects us across a work, across a room, across the world.
Art opens our hearts.
Art reassembles our memories, enriching some, obscuring others – and then, all of a sudden, art rushes memory to the surface and overwhelms our every sense.
Art asks questions, and demands that we do the same.
Art imagines entire worlds – and then it makes them possible, situating us within their boundaries and then exploding those limits, unsettling what’s real and dissolving it into what’s not yet possible. Art makes that possible.
After civilisations rise and fall, after all else is lost or forgotten, art endures.
Art creates our future.
Written for the April NAVAnews. Image: Luke John Matthew Arnold, Don’t Cancel Creativity, 2020. Digital illustration.