THIS is the beginning . . . Because somewhere between not knowing . . . and knowing . . . there lies imagination . . . THIS, THAT and THE OTHER . . . Book 1 . . . OUT NOW . . . THIS is the beginning . . . Because somewhere between not knowing . . . and knowing . . . there lies imagination . . . THIS, THAT and THE OTHER . . . Book 1 . . . CLICK HERE . . .
CURRENT : DYSPHASIA : solo exhibition at Oriel Maenofferen, Blaenau Ffestiniog : until 12 January 2018
NEOPOETICS : solo exhibition of 8 works in the Stable Block, Plas Tan y Bwlch : until New Year 2018

FUTURE : 'THIS' : Parts Three and Four : Autumn / Winter 2017
SENSE OF PLACE : creative course : Plas Tan y Bwlch : 16 - 18 March 2018


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Is This Good Art?

"Time to reflect upon the meaning of life..."

Whilst trying to come up with a general definition of art with a group of students, we found ourselves discussing this image of Anish Kapoor’s ‘Turning The World Inside Outside’ (1995). As far as I recall, this piece was exhibited for part of the year in a clinically white gallery space, and then for part of the year in the open air amongst the Rollright Stones (near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire).

We thought that this does what good art should do. It is attractive and engaging. It does not initially challenge, offend or seem to be ‘really serious’… and it is a beautiful object.

It is something like a big silver apple, or a bauble off a Yuletide Tree. Like other reflective pieces by Kapoor (such as the great ‘Cloud Gate’ in Chicago's Millennium Park) it also has that funhouse mirror thing that entertains children and invites you in. As you approach it, you realise that you have been incorporated into it - your reflected image is now part of the ‘work’.

You cannot actually see the object itself. You can only see where its surface disrupts and distorts its environment. It does not stand apart from its surroundings, it alters them and reflects them back to the viewer, who is also altered and reflected back. By doing this, it presents us with a new viewpoint that incorporates the piece of art, its environment, and ourselves.

Perhaps this shows us what good art can do. Its presence changes the way we see our environment, ourselves and others within that environment, but to some extent, it is up to the individual to respond to that view and reflect on what it could mean. So good art should either reveal something to us that we were not previously aware of, about ourselves, others, or the wider world - or change our view of these elements and the way they interact. Hopefully by doing this, (good) art enriches our experience of being.

Or maybe it is sometimes enough for art to reflect reality and show us how subjective that concept may be…

Anish Kapoor Homepage - worth a look!

I discuss this work in the book Evolution of Western Art

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