The Nature of Art

—Bunny Bowen

At what point does the idea that has been fermenting away in my mind, which begins its public life as it flows from my wax and dye brushes into silk or cotton, become art? That is, assuming that I complete the translation of the idea into a tactile form which I choose to share, when is it more than a technical exercise or experiment?

I love this quote by Jay Griffiths:

“A writer touches the page to her lips before she sends the message on. A sculptor fires the clay with love and meaning. Using the sense of sight, a painter turns an ordinary gaze into the extra ordinary regard of  honoring. Using the sense of hearing, a musician turns ordinary listening into extraordinary acknowledgement. And when someone says that a work of art “touched” him, or that a book “changed her life,” a subtle transformation of mind is revealed. For the greatest artists do not make their best works of art in clay or paint or sound or words: they make them right inside us, within the heart of the reader or audience. By art, humanity is sculpted more tender and more true: we are altered and touched and made magnificent. We are each other’s works of art.”1

The best patrons are those who connect with a piece in some way which transcends the skill and perhaps even the intent of the artist. The miracle of creation, then, continues as a work of art touches those who experience it.

As Griffiths states: "We are each other's works of art."

1—“The Exile of the Arts: Thirsting for Metaphor in an Age of Literalism,” Jay Griffiths (author of Wild: An Elemental Journey.) Published in Orion, Sept/Oct 2011, p.11