I attended an art dedication this weekend.
When I was younger, I would’ve thought I’d been dragged to another boring, hot-outside, plastic-chair events. Since Twister (twin sister) is in love with art, and since my Aunt (featured in the photo with stunning white hair) is in love with art, and since I myself love art, it was an interesting, wonderful affair.
More than that, my family is involved with the college community where the art was dedicated. So it was not only an interesting and beautiful experience, it was also spiritual.
Now, I’m not a religious person. Most of my family is either Catholic and Lutheran, and the college itself is Catholic, so when I say “spiritual,” I know I’m on the edge of invoking a deity.
But that’s not what I mean.
I’m not spurning religion or minimizing the influence of its morals, but to me religion is really about community and warmth (and not just the 75 degree weather burning our shoulders). When we sat before the sculpture, its height and sharp angles and solidity spoke one word: strength. The writer in me imagined that this sculpture is a place of strength.
I imagined fire and strong arms and shouting. I imagined a revolt occurring against the upper class, someone climbing the sculpture (because doesn’t it just beg to be climbed?) and waving a flag while fire casts gaunt shadows on the sharp edges. I imagined the irony of using a six-figure sculpture as a launching point for a revolution against the elite, because the art isn’t about the price. It’s about the emotion. And this sculpture spoke of sharp strength and stark shadows and, to me, it shouted.
One of the people introducing the sculpture said that art is one of the ladders used to access God and spirituality. I agree.
As someone who has delved into both quantum chemistry and visual poetry, I appreciate the difference between arts and sciences/maths. Jedd Novatt’s sculpture divided its attention between physics and architecture (the thing’s gotta stand up against the storms and time), and artistic expression (it has to make you feel something).
In the end, art (just like writing), bridges the gap between observation and creation. Art is not about explaining the world, it’s about inventing it.
Of course, the speeches were all about uneven foundations still providing strength, and I understand that. I see it. But what I felt was a story. I feel the inherent contradiction between skewed angles and the strength they can provide. What I feel is the world implied by art.
I don’t know if it’s the writer in me, but I see a story unfold.
It took me until writing this to realize that I wasn’t just daydreaming. I was using a story, the image of a college student hanging from the sharp angles, fiery flag in hand, to express who the sculpture made me feel. I think in terms of stories and words and images instead of abstracts…
And isn’t that what art is all about?
Writing is a type of art, and we use it as a way to express ourselves, our ideas, and our emotions. More than that, being a storyteller means that sometimes we experience things in terms of stories.
Have you ever been inspired by art?
Have you ever daydreamed your way into a story?
Does your imagination run away from you and then come back to take your hand and run away with you?
What does the Chaos Getaria sculpture say to you?
(Do you want to jungle-gym-climb that thing as much as I do??)