FIVE TRAITS ART NURTURES
By Maha Alsharif
Caroline Coppey, “Le Grand Voile, 2176 Tissues”, 2007-14, 6.5 x 10.5 m. Install view at Hotel-Dieu de Tonnerre. © Caroline Coppey
Since the onset of COVID-19 and its impact on the arts, accessibility rose as one of the more repeated terms in virtual art talks and events. Institutions and artists alike adapted their activities digitally, aiming to maintain art within reach. Despite other services being obviously more important at this time, art is an integral part of society, especially in times of change. Art is unique in that its influence begins on an individual level that when nurtured, it is reflected in overall society. But what do we gain from accessibility to art?
1. Open Mindedness
It is a common misconception that art is reserved to a certain group and therefore it is intimidating. The truth is, art is for everyone. By looking at and experiencing different forms of art, we become more receptive to new ideas, form an informed taste, and develop respect and tolerance to alternative opinions.
Ahmed Kassim, “Source of Magnetic”, 2014, oil on canvas, 160 x 140 cm. © Ahmed Kassim.
The calm gallery or dark theatre setting relieves us from the distractions of the fast-paced lifestyles we are living. It allows us to disconnect for a moment, muse, and find appreciation for beauty and talent.
Katerina Belkina, “11 Milileters per Minute”, 2018, archival pigment print, 150 x 150 cm, ed. Of 3. © Katerina Belkina.
3. Cultural Dialogues
While one can argue there is a global essence to today’s art practices, artists still tackle specific aesthetic, cultural, political, economic, and other issues that grow out of personal experiences and research. Their work brings awareness to a myriad of detailed subjects, often neglected in mainstream culture and media, that facilitate constructive dialogues and cultural exchanges.
Khaled Hourani, “The Road to Jerusalem (from Sharjah), 2017, ceramic tiles, 60 x 45 cm. Via Barjeel Art Foundation
4. Freedom of Expression
Although art can be censored, true artists cannot. There is unlimited freedom in art to explore maneuvers around conveying ideas that may not be well accepted at a certain place or time.
Yue Minjun, “The Last 5000 Years”, 1999, acrylic on fiberglass-reinforced plastic. Via artsy.net
By seeking art with an open mind, we become aware of the gaps in our knowledge, nonetheless we grow our willingness to learn.
David Fullarton, Untitled, 2020. © David Fullarton.