It has occurred to me recently that people are increasingly influenced in today’s society about the latest ‘in thing’ whether that is what is fashionable to wear, to buy, to believe or to follow. Why is this? Why do we seem willing, and often unconsciously allow ourselves to follow the pack?!
It starts with just one person…their perception about a thing…they decide whether it is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ measuring it against their own set of criteria...
..Then a friend or colleague or follower agrees and shares that decision and perception with their own followers and so it spreads…like the concentric ripples in a lake flowing outward, getting wider and wider from just one single stone that was dropped in the middle!
I suppose we are all creatures of habit and we take comfort in following. So this brings me to my question about art and how we make decisions about whether an artist is ‘good enough’. For those of us with a strong sense of self we are able to choose and base our decisions purely on an intuitive guidance system that we have developed from our younger years. Honing our adult perspective against values learnt. But, for many they are at the mercy of those who seem to hold power and hence sit in positions of authority, saying ‘this artist will be one of the most influential in our century’. So we leap on board to buy their work without a thought as to whether it is actually pleasing to our true nature! We follow the pack.
I know this may seem brash of me to suggest, but I think if you really honestly look at your own drives and desires you will find that you too have been moulded by clever marketing and the opinion of others. So is it right that we are bombarded by evocative images and suggestions that influence our decision making?
I find myself resisting the tendency to follow as it feels like conformity and I like to be differnet. We need to cultivate our own sense of value and follow our own guidance system, not be influenced by the majority. But I wonder what would happen if we all did this? Would there be fewer famous artists because like people are diverse, so are our decisions if we are true to ourselves. Or would we find that there is a collective sense of what really pleases most people? If we didn’t have the framework then would our world become a chaotic mass of separate decisions and perspectives…a tangled web where there was no pattern or congruency? So perhaps it is essential that we follow and form collective groups. Would value not exist if we didn’t follow?
I don’t know the answer but it’s an interesting thought…what percentage of famous artists are famous because of chance, because the right influential person was there at the right time to promote them? Versus what percentage are actually at the heights of their career because of genuine synergy with the appreciation of the human collective?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this so do please comment...
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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