Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Art & Vision

If you have ever visited art galleries, museums or art festivals and see a vast array of different kinds of art all in one day or one evening, notice how you feel. If you are really stopping to look, enjoy and take some of it in, you probably are going away from that visit with an elevated feeling, a sense that you have had an opportunity to view other worlds, other perspectives on reality.

Such events prompt us to be open minded. We need to at least consider a variety of perspectives in order to view them. That does not mean we like everything we see. Our tastes will predispose us to like some things and not like other things. That is only natural.

When we do find pictures we like, we stand and stare at them for a while, don't we? Our imagination is transporting us to other places, other times. Perhaps we are able to see through the artist's eyes. Perhaps we are allowing ourselves to see things we do not usually see. In this process we are freeing ourselves from our usual perspective. Our vision expands. We experience feelings and sensations that communicate ideas to us. We experience the art. Sculpture lets us use our sense of touch, so we have one more input, compared to paintings, drawings or photographs where we can only look.

Art opens our visionary sight as well as sensitizing our vision. The journeys of our mind will often preceed the journeys of our bodies. Reading takes the whole process a step further because we are taking words and using them to make pictures in our minds, constructing our own visions that let us see in both senses of the word.

The fact that art can trigger such powerful visions and influence our imagination through our senses explains why tarot has been such a powerful tool for exploring our visions for so many centuries. Just as there are many styles of art and we all have different tastes, a phenomenal number of these have found their way into print. Artists always intend to convey complex ideas and feelings to us through the use of colors, figures and symbols. And each time we see them, we may or may not experience what they intended through the filters of our own understanding and experience.

Art is a tool for spirit and vision. That is why we feel different when we come home from a visit to galleries, museums or festivals.

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