Shining through form

April 15, 2008

Continuing on from  the previous post- ‘Old Calligraphy, old territory’, I want to explain what it is I look for in a work of art.

I want to be moved, taken out of the ordinary, jolted into a new perception, given the key to a new world. I want to meet someone at heart level, at soul level through their work. I want to be returned to myself to know who I really am at my best and deepest. I want to be given an experience of wholeness and solace. I want to be opened, pried or blasted, it doesn’t matter. I want to be left with the feeling of, ‘It is a beautiful world after all, despite everything’.

Pretty high demands, one might say, but it has happened to me repeatedly, with music, theatre, painting drawing, poetry, etc. 

But here is a paradox: The artists that create work capable of giving this experience aren’t necessarily making ‘beautiful’ things in the conventional sense of the word. I find that what moves me, whether it is a drawing by a child or a painting by a master is something ‘true’ shining out of the work.

Eckhart Tolle, author of ‘The Power of Now’  and  ‘A new Earth’,  puts it this way:

Pseudo art is clever minds trying to be more clever, manipulating old forms. Nothing new has come in.

Nothing in that kind of art can lead you back into the formless which is the original reason for art—to be a portal, an access point for the sacred so that when you see/experience it you experience yourself.  In it you see the formless reflected, shining through form.     -From a talk given at Findhorn in 2004

He goes on to say that true art always contains another dimension than just what you see or hear. It is always more. And the ‘more’ is the energy that emanates from the work. He says too that this kind of power comes from a place of stillness.

And that leads me to a whole new thread, to be continued.

5 Responses to “Shining through form”

  1. Your thoughts on viewing art are well articulated. And I was glad to see the quotation from Tolle, who is one of my favorite people 🙂

  2. szoutewelle Says:

    thanks sarah.
    I visited your blog. It was great. I don’t take the time needed to follow other’s blogs because I’d rather be anywhere (mostly studio, garden, kitchen) than in front of the computer. But if I did, I would be at yours regularly. Who knows, maybe I will anyway.
    Good luck with the zine, it looks like fun.

  3. Robyn Says:

    “….a portal, an access point for the sacred so that when you see/experience it you experience yourself.” I love this quote.

  4. Accessing that place of stillness is easier, I believe, once we have learned to stop all our busy, noisy “doing” for long enough to start simply and quietly and calmly “being”.

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