Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Intellectual Question: Art Soothes the Savage Beast?

In light of my new injury I thought I would ask some questions about pain relief ... the art kind.

Could the enjoyment of art or the act of creating art give a kind of pain relief? I would argue that it could, to some extent. Being able to express a little of our experience gives us the chance to validate what we are going through. Reading, watching, listening to, or otherwise experiencing someone else's expression gives us the knowledge that we are not alone. Knowledge like that can be a powerful healer and motivator. In Steven King's book on writing he says that after his tragic accident, writing, his art form, helped him to get through the pain. It gave him motivation and an outlet. The bible even records how King Saul was soothed in his terrible temper by David's playing on the harp. Now, I don't know if hanging a Matisse at the dentist office would help take away the pain of a filling ... or if art therapy would help with cancer treatments but it would be interesting to throw some ideas out there!

What do you think? Can art soothe the savage beast?


Anonymous said...

From the Land of Vines....
Have the twins tipped the scale so much that it threw your back out? How long have you been side lined? Hope you have some assistance....take care and enjoy the new lush green blog!!

Nancy said...

A painful exploration. I hope you're feeling better soon.
Expressing any emotion overtly I think shares the experience and lightens a heavy burden...if others are willing to share the load. Munsch's "The scream" comes to mind. It may have lightened his angst, but it always disturbs me to view it...unless I'm in the same mood. Well, that is what art and you artists are for...putting voice to the voiceless. Carry on!!!

Joel said...

One piece that I rather like, because it actually does what art is supposed to do, that is communicate to the viewer some truth, is Picasso's Guernica. As horrifying as that piece is, it truly and blatantly portrays the horrors of war.

I am not that big a fan of Picasso, but when I first saw that huge canvas (it filled a whole wall, I believe somewhere in the realm of 15 feet across) it communicated its message quite easily. Cubism really loudly speaks of disjointedness... very interesting.

Now, as much as I like Salvador Dali, I still need someone to explain him and his art to me!

Naomi said...

Hugs to you!

I was thinking about this- yes, I believe art, in its many forms can sooth! I recall one day- when I had had an awful time of everything, ready to scream or rant and rave, and I got in my car and turned on the radio- a song came on that just made me feel soooo much better! It was amazing! It lifted my spirits, made all the stress float away and had me dancing (or bopping) as I drove home (through Ottawa rush hour traffic!)

A few more hugs- which ought to be considered an art form- they can do soooo much too!