I am not going to pretend that I know art. However I appreciate it and, as a writer, understand the need of expression.
Yesterday I didn’t go to the Eagle Waves networking event, although I was planning to visit, in order to attend The National Art School Graduate Exhibition 2014. The show was presented by Saatchi & Saatchi and is the highly anticipated annual showcase of 90 emerging artists completing the Bachelor of Fine Art degree.
So, we are talking arts students completing their underground arts degree in painting, printing, sculpturing and God knows what. As you can imagine, you must be an art lover in order to ditch a business networking evening for a green hair and blue lips crowd hanging out.
“The opening night attracts more than 1,000 visitors; it is a real celebration and the artwork is diverse, thought-provoking and of extremely high calibre. For the first time ever, we will be selling the graduate art online, a fantastic opportunity to purchase emerging art at anytime, anywhere in the world.” For example, here is a piece of art called ‘Anna’ and sold for $300 each portrait. Interested?
I rarely try to understand or interpret art because the eyes and the mind of an artist only belong to the artist. Whether it is a painting or a printing or a sculpture in contemporary art motives or a landscape, portrait or abstract, it is really up to our imagination to see what we see. It doesn’t mean it will match the artist’s vision.
The National Art School is located in between Darlinghurst and Kings Cross in Sydney. It is an eerie, dusty and an old building which, I think, represents the state of arts in Australia very well. I must say I didn’t like their champagne which students seem to enjoy greatly.
The Graduation Show opened most of the arts studios letting people into the students halls, working and living areas. The only student I knew was Alisa Kalinina who I met a few years ago but have not kept in touch unfortunately. Alisa has painted a few selfies, as she calls them, which I am personally fond of. I also enjoyed the work of Sean Wadey and Wendi Toohey which were less abstract than most of the paintings I saw on the day. I thought it was entertaining to see some bananas as well.
I prefer painting to any other type of art. However I am also interested in installations and, so to speak, odd sculptures. Therefore I especially enjoyed the room where I found a ‘Lets play Heart Transplant’ made of a number of different materials. Yes, Hilary Sandeman won my heart last night. Her work took first place in my mind. I love the detail. I enjoy how I can think of hundreds of stories interpreting her work.
Art is not about what it looks like but how it makes you feel. I cannot agree more. However things make us feel certain ways based on what they look like and because we are perceiving it though our eyes and mind. Coincidentally, while I was browsing through the arts students studios, a friend of mine sent me a curious video about vision and how we see the same things incredibly different based on our mindset.
Emily Balcetis, social psychologist, explains how eyes work showing us how different one same thing can be to several people. Vision is the most important sense that we have, she says, explaining why. Emily mentioned a research she conducted which allowed her to make some curious conclusions.
She asked a number of respondents to choose which image represented Barack Obama, The USA President, better. People were going through images one by one without being mentioned to that some of the Obama’s images were lightened up and others were not. Whenever people saw Obama whiter they voted for him, whenever he appeared darker people went for McCain. Check it out.
It was not a racism test, it was an example of how our perception changes depending on what we see. To understand it we need to understand that, accordingly, our focused eyes can only see as much as a size of out thumb on an outstretched arm. Everything around the thumb is blurry. As a result, we have a focused middle and blurred out the rest of the world which our mind finds ways to fill out this gap.
Perception is a subjective experience hence we see everything through our minds’ eyes. Therefore whether we see a glass half full or half empty it really depends on our mind and either scenario is truth to the perceiver. So, what is it one person is thinking and feeling that it leads them to seeing things in an absolutely different way? Why some of the The National Art School‘s art seemed to me immature to me whereas other pieces caught my eye and excited my mind?
“We see things differently and sometimes it might not line up with the reality; however it doesn’t mean that one of us is wrong and other one is right.” Emily Balcetis.
The National Art School Graduate Exhibition 2014 was filled with incredibly different people. Some of them were students, others teachers, many were family and friends. Most of people looked extremely different from what I am used to and there were a lot of art pieces I didn’t understand or like. However it doesn’t matter. These quirky, geeky people with green hair, blue lips and careless attitude towards life are the creative bunch who sees the world different from entrepreneurs and business minded people. It enriches our being allowing more colors and varieties. It allows lawyers and engineers to look at their work differently finding new approaches. However based on the awful taste of campaign, the absence of air conditioning and incredibly old walls and floors, it seems like we are forgetting how different people are and we must encourage all kinds of minds because collaboration is the answer to all world-wide problems.
Vision is the most important sense that we have. The wider our experiences are the more flexible our vision is and the more answers will be found whether it is understanding art or curing cancer.