What's the purpose? Art + Connection...

Hello, lovely friends...

I've been thinking a lot recently about the purposes of art. Such a small sentence yet it is so complex and, I think, a fluid concept. Fluid, in the sense that it is something that is ever-changing. So I've been thinking about how these purposes have developed, changed, evolved and expanded over time. I guess one of the fascinating things about art is the fact that it is something that is so diverse, with so many distinct and also somewhat elusive purposes in our lives. Sometimes I wonder about how the process of art-making has evolved from having more of a practical and functional purpose, where art was ingrained in cultures and traditions of people and relied upon to ensure that knowledge, information, teaching and even spirituality could be passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps you could say that art was linked to humanity's survival (maybe we could still claim that, now, even?).

It makes me consider the role that art has had in the concept of connectivity (“the state of being connected”) amongst people and places across history…and what that role is now in today’s world. Art continues, of course, to be a platform from which artists can convey all kinds of messages for an endless number of purposes. Over this past year as I’ve thought about my own art practice, the idea of connection has always comes back to mind, and is one of my core values. It seems a bit evasive sometimes, while I’m working alone in my studio, immersed in the unraveling – and very personal – stories and messages that emerge on the canvas. There is something that happens though, between those moments of solitude and then the sharing of those artworks that brings a different kind of meaning to the process as a whole.

It’s a personal struggle, often (if not always). It’s human nature, I think… or maybe it’s just a learnt way of being that we’ve adopted over time…to keep those personal and private parts of ourselves close and closed; hidden away from any possible scrutiny or judgment. And not that of others, but actually, what I’ve discovered over this year is that its my own critic who gets in my way most often.

What I’ve come to value is the true and authentic sense of connection that is only made possible when we do share these personal parts of ourselves. I don’t think it’s meant to feel necessarily comfortable. Although I suspect that once upon a time it did come more naturally to people in general. Perhaps it will never be something that comes very easily to me, though, but it’s what brings a more complete and ‘whole’ sense of purpose to my art process. I have to listen to that voice that tells me that sharing my work has purpose, even when I can't see it or comprehend it. One of my core beliefs is that we are truly all connected. When I share my art with others it’s actually a sense of remembering and awakening to that connection which already exists that I hope to re-create.

THANK YOU for being here and being part of this, being part of the process that begins in my studio and works it's way out there to you. You play a bigger role in this story than you may think, and I am so grateful for the ways that I have been able to reach out and connect with many of you... who knows where this will continue, but I am beginning to see some new directions and possibilities and hope you will continue to join me in the new year! I would love to hear from you! :)

Peace, Love and Gratitude,



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© 2018 by Meredith Mallin. All rights reserved.