"Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world."
Pierre Renoir was brave enough to say what many of us think I suspect… Nowadays we are expected to deliberate over intellectual and complex art - question the meaning behind the work because ‘surely there is more to what meets the eye’ - there has to be! But Why?
This ‘art snobbery’ feels to me like people are more concerned about how they appear to behave in the art world - their Ego, as opposed to simply enjoying a piece of work for what it is and being brave enough to be honest with it’s simplicity. After all, Doreen Virtue said ‘If it is complicated it comes from Ego, if it is simple it comes from the Soul’.
I was listening to one of the Reith Lectures by Grayson Perry and he so clearly states his opinion on the matter…I find it lightening to hear such a brave and bold artist stand up to the ‘pretentious art world’ saying you know, ART is an anagram of RAT!
I think he’s saying…come on, get over yourselves…lighten up and have fun with art, and advocate the beauty!
Let’s face it we all like beauty, we respond to a sunset, a pretty rose, a loving moment caught on canvas when two lovers embrace. There is something innate in us all that seeks to relive those feelings of beauty, and why not - as Renoir says…’there are enough unpleasant things in the world’!
The 5th most popular art exhibition in 2012 was the David Hockney Landscape show at the Royal Academy. When an art critic was asked their opinion on the show they said they thought it was weak and one of the worst exhibitions they had seen! BUT, people paid and queued for hours to get in - and there is the point…surely art’s success criteria is actually about how many people want to see it and own it, even if it is ‘just’ a pretty painting of blue sky and rolling hills.
Pretty! Beauty! If these word are used in the art world it’s as if you are selling your soul to some kind of dark cult or politically incorrect arena. Beauchamp said ‘aesthetic delectation is the danger to be avoided’ but I wonder what it was he was really afraid of? Not seeming to be intellectual enough? An inadequacy of some kind?
I believe ‘Beauty’ is about reinforcing an idea we hold in our mind - of our own previous experience of beauty, and we want to be reminded of that and taken back to that place in our soul because of course..it makes us feel good.
So let yourself soak up the beauty around you, not just in art but everywhere - and next time you go to an Exhibition remember not to feel ashamed of thinking a piece of artwork is simply pretty or beautiful - if you do this I think you will be one of the most honest people in the room.
My working ethos is 'Play & Revelation' where I continually explore new ways of working, sometimes even destroying works to transform into new!
From February 2019 Sonya will be selling her collections at 'Leaf Creative' in Huntley, owned by Peter Dowle. This beautiful garden centre specialises in unusual shrubs, acer trees and hand selected plants. The perfect place to showcase her leaf inspired ceramics!
Sonya is pleased to announce that having been a provisional member with the Cotswold Craftsmen during 2018, she has now been accepted as a permanent member and invited to be publicity officer on the committee. Sonya will be exhibiting her work at a number of County Shows in 2019 - watch her events page for more upcoming details.
Sonya is now offering 1 day 'Pottery Workshops' with a national craft course provider. Start 2019 learning something new! In 1 day attentive tuition with Sonya you will learn throwing, coiling and hand-building techniques.
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