Art is about filling space – or, where there is nothing apparent – and creating, weaving SOMETHING out of, or within, that space, that apparent nothing.
Kids are the best at that, when left out by themselves in the sun or fresh air.
But anyone can do art. We all need to do art.
From Intermountain Healthcare: “Studies show creative expression helps maintain our immune systems and that art is clinically proven to reduce stress, elevate mood, and lower blood pressure.”
This text focused on a study in the American Journal of Public Health, in which the researchers reported on the “direct link between creative arts and health outcomes, both physical and mental.”
The study noted that “Engagement with creative activities has the potential to contribute toward reducing stress and depression and can serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic disease.”
And an especially nuanced comment relayed: “Through creativity and imagination, we find our identity and our reservoir of healing. The more we understand the relationship between creative expression and healing, the more we will discover the healing power of the arts.”
There are many kinds of art, and sometimes we may like to do this kind…and sometimes we may like to do that kind.
I do believe sound-made-music, pre-lingual, is one of the most powerful agents of change we have; if I had to choose between music and a book, I believe music would win.
Of course, words are one of my superpowers – but they can be a tool for good or bad magic…and so I must use them for good.
Ha ha ha.
Of course, I was recently at a talk that the formidable Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi, curator, author, and quilt artist, gave at the James Museum for the show BLACK PIONEERS: LEGACY IN THE AMERICAN WEST and she called the U.S. “a country of visual learners.”
Maybe words no longer serve. They are certainly not always used for good. But our reliance on the visual (it’s a big turn-on for me as well, and leads to all sorts of complications, in a variety of realms) seems fraught with dozens of emotional landmines as well, in an ever-more-performance-based-social-media-poisoned-society.
Art might be about shaking out invisible information to create connections with the forces that hold us up, aloft, transcending the most base, nether regions of our consciousness and unconscious…
…while it takes us into a zone of escape from the constricting, feeling-too-tightness of our human, physical form.
I’m pretty sure whatever we came out of learns more about itself, out of and from within the spacious creative information of the various art we make; our art becomes ‘good’ information that helps it expand…while bringing us all back toward it, in its own image of health.
Maybe a bit obtuse, but let’s just leave it here:
Do Art. Feel Better.
Featured Image: Cover art of THE PEOPLE COULD FLY by Leo and Diane Dillon
BGIRLDOLLY by Jake-ann Jones