Erindringsbilleder (Danish Edition)
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I need art as much as I need air. And when I neglect it, I develop a spiritual sickness - a sickness of the heart and soul. I would not let myself go without physical food because I see what it does to me - 1 become weak, nervous, anxious, impatient, and frustrated.
This is exactly what happens to me when I go without spiritual nourishment as well. But why is it so hard to remember this? I don't feel stomach hunger pains, but I do feel heart, emotion and spirit pains. Why is it so easy to forget where these come from? How do I remind myself every second, with every breath, who I am? That I am a spiritual being who needs to develop spiritual arms and legs and wings so that I can fly toward the heavens. What good am I if I only develop my torso, my gut, or my stomach? In years these things will be on their way, returning back to nature.
A soft breath of air moves quietly, unconsciously in and out of my lungs. Within a second I have nourished, gently and quietly, unconsciously nourished my blood. A dull ache in my stomach reminds me gently, unconsciously, rumbling and grumbling, to nourish my body, to fill my empty stomach, to quiet the lion's growl. It aches to remind me, unconsciously, remind me of its hunger.
Remind me to feed my self, my true self, my spiritual self. To nourish my soul. Do not neglect me!
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It cries out into the quiet desert night. Drip water onto my sore-thirst lips, So that I can sing out in praise once again. So that I can remember my Creator and paint in praise Him! You are everywhere, my Creator. Help me to live beside You through the middle part, the journey on this earth So that I can sing night and day in awe and wonderment of You, of Your creation And give praise through art. Gently and quietly, consciously, I remember. Creativity is an indispensable process that accompanies the creation of art.
It is of course not restricted to art, but for the purposes of this exploration, I will focus primarily on creativity within art. It is a topic that has intrigued generation after generation and been the subject of many an author's hand in writing. For centuries, philosophers, artists and poets, have attempted to explain the phenomenon of creativity, oftentimes developing their own theory of the creative or artistic process in the meantime.
It is far beyond the scope of this review to cover the vast amount of authors who have written on this subject or to explain the differing arguments that go with them. Nevertheless, I would like to explore a few themes found in the literature on creativity in order to demonstrate a recurrent theme in a majority of the writing on creativity.
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That theme is the connection between the creative or artistic process and the influence of divine inspiration, the soul, the spirit, or the unconscious. The early part of the 20th century saw a great number of artists who wrote or described their artistic process as a spiritual activity. Kandinsky's significant contribution, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, influenced several generations of artists on the supremacy of the spirit in the creation of art.
His work reflected a vision of an artistic movement that attempted to create a spiritual atmosphere or feeling in a work or art through colour and form Boos-Hamburger, ; Howard, ; Kandinksy, ; Lipsey, ; Mayer, Many other artists worked with these concepts within the domain of abstract art. Many researchers and authors attempted to demonstrate that creativity was only to be found within a 'creative person' who was seen as a genius Arieti, ; Jarrett, This modernist notion spurred a great deal of what has fuelled the post-modern movement that seeks to find a voice for the oppressed and to eliminate the hierarchies between high art - painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking - and low art - crafts, sewing, pottery - through the destruction of the notion of the creative person as a genius Boden, With the rejection of the modernist views on art and creativity, the theme of art as a spiritual activity was also brought into question.
Extensive research was conducted to locate the exact place in the brain that produced creativity Edwards, thereby eliminating any need to relate an unknown realm to artistic processes. While the spiritual connection to the act of creativity has been eliminated from most of this discourse, the underlying theme that the unconscious is what controls the act of creativity is still present. It is my conclusion that while many researchers and authors ascribe different labels to the influence on the creative process, be it the unconscious, the spirit or a spiritual connection, in reality they are describing the same process, just using different terminology.
Even though the spiritual connection to the act of creativity has been eliminated from the majority of the discourse on creativity, it is apparent that there is a growing desire in the general public to reconnect artistic creativity with the spirit.
Julia Cameron's self-help book, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and other similar books that promote and develop personal creativity have gained increasing popularity with the general public over the last decade as well Aya, ; McNiff, ; Sark, ; Von Oech, These authors have attempted to give spirituality a voice within academia. Klein focuses on finding the sacred within physical space and creating a legitimate place for this exploration within art education.
Suzi Gablik advocates 61 for a reconstructive version of postmodernism characterized by art aesthetic of interconnectedness, social responsibility and ecological attunement where the artist's role is that of a demystifier or cultural healer.
Gablik acknowledges that we live in a time marked by an embarrassment of God and that there is a human need to reconnect with the sacred; nevertheless, both Gablik and Klein do not go against the academic taboo of explorations of the Creator and go no further with this topic. Dawn Perlmutter and Debra Koppman believe that the sacred has re-emerged in our culture through art production, which is still mistakenly perceived as a completely secular activity. They provide a broad expanse of views and ideas on this topic including a chapter that looks at the creation of art as a form of aesthetic prayer.
Klassen explores how art education can provide nurturing for the soul, while Koepfer and Franklin, Farrelly-Hansen, Marek, Swan-Foster and Wallingford look at the potential for spiritual development within art therapy. Fitzgerald , London , Myers and Tuman explore possibilities for transforming the spiritual self through creative endeavours. While the connection between art and religion is not a new topic, it is new in a contemporary, postmodern art world.
These authors have provided valuable experience and insight into this process and its connection with creativity. A recurrent theme in much of this literature is the personal transformation that inevitably comes from practicing art as prayer. Capacchione teaches that creativity becomes a spiritual practice when it becomes a way of being and perceiving. She further goes on to explain that the practice of creativity can itself become a spiritual education where we learn to become one with all creation.
Cameron works with the idea that the Creator is the source of all creativity and that as we increase the practice of creativity we should expect to experience personal, artistic and spiritual change. Based on the literature from this review, it appears that there is a growing interest in the theme of creativity and spirituality. It is clear that this topic has the potential to play an invaluable role in the learning, perceiving and creation of art as well as providing a forum for personal, spiritual or artistic transformation.
As far as I have been able to uncover there have been no studies or academic research that has looked at the process of creating art as an act of prayer or communicating with the Creator. Research on this topic could benefit artists, students and educators as an alternative way for art and life to be lived, created, viewed, practiced or taught. She began dancing professionally at the age of 16 and has since travelled and performed throughout the world.
She coordinates three educational arts outreach projects for youth between the ages of who use dance and theatre as a means of social healing and who perform extensively throughout the world. One of the groups has recently been asked by the United Nations to bring this project to several war-healing countries.
Leena is a speed-talking, speed-walking, bouncing ball of energy who is always on the go and always has a new project up her sleeve. Despite her numerous accomplishments, she is a true example of leadership with humility. Leena compares her process of creating art to giving birth. Through the painful birthing of beauty we develop one of God's attributes, creativity, and we fulfill part of our purpose in life. In describing my process of creating art, I try to first come up with a concept or theme. In this process, prayer and mediation are essential.
When I say meditation I don't mean sitting there and doing nothing; I receive most of my inspiration when I'm jogging. I'm running, letting the thoughts roll through my head and sometimes I'll stop and go in the woods and pray. I ask the Creator, what are the needs? What is it that the people need to hear? How can I help to 64 meet those needs in a way that will be effective, touch their hearts and open their minds?
In that process I sometimes get lax in my conversation with God like, Ok, well, You know. You know what we gotta do here.
So just help me out. But more than anything I pray that despite my weaknesses and my challenges in my own personal life the Creator will see fit to honour me, regardless of my own shortcomings, with the privilege and the bounty of serving the community in this way. Part of my greatest struggle is feeling my own unworthiness with the privilege of being a part of the creative process. I always pray, please don't keep me back by reason of my own inadequacies.
Help me to make this a reality. Inevitably that inspiration comes and then I feel that the artist has an obligation. Once you've received that inspiration, it's almost like the seed of a child.
You've been impregnated with this idea and now you're the mother of that concept. Your obligation as a part of that process is to bring it from the realm of inspiration into the realm of creation. I think any artist will tell you that sometimes you spend sleepless nights. It's like when you give birth to a child, there is so much pain and suffering, restlessly watching over for nine months, waiting.
Your body contorts, there are sleepless nights, and then it culminates with this anguish, this awful pain that you go through. But then you hold this child in your arms and life is never the same. It is almost like your heart grows five times of what you thought it was capable and you start to learn the meaning of unconditional love.
The creative process is like that; it's like giving birth.