For most of my life, I did not consider myself to be a particularly artistic person. I was never good at art subjects at school, although I did start to learn guitar in high school and take lessons for a while. Other forms of art, however, such as film, paintings, TV and so on I never really ‘understood’. Part of it was a lack of consistent exposure. The main reason, however, was a personal narrative that I had, which was that I was not an ‘artistic’ person.
I have started to challenge this over the past couple years, however. I’ve steadily become more interested in art, architecture, design and aesthetics more broadly. I was able to do it partly through leaning on my naturally analytical, inquisitive nature and by learning some of the basic techniques for looking at art. Crucially, however, I did not go overboard in doing this. In a rare move for me, I relied more on my intuition and allowing myself to be drawn to what appealed to me, rather than what I felt I needed to enjoy. It’s meant taking in new experiences, influences and ideas I would likely have overlooked or not been at all aware of otherwise.
A major factor behind this shift has been because of joining the Interintellect at the start of the pandemic last year. It was here that I was introduced to many people who were interested in all forms of artistic expression – music, poetry, painting, design and so on. Having had limited exposure to some of these forms in my daily life before then, I quickly became gravitated toward the people within the Interintellect who were interested in these things, as well as the Salons, or online discussions which they held. This is despite it previously not being a particular interest of mine. However, being part of this community clearly piqued my interest more so than any previous exposure to art had done.
In particular, the Salon “Visual Intelligence and Art – Learning to See”, hosted by Patricia Hurducas, creator of the Flaneuse Project (https://flaneuseproject.com/salons-hosted/) was crucial to developing this newfound interest. It was during this Salon, where we were invited to bring along an artwork that we particularly liked or that held personal significance that I finally felt comfortable talking about art. During the course of the discussion, where I spoke about the famous ukiyo-e artwork ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’, something in my mind clicked – that I could finally understand and appreciate art on a deeper level than I did previously.
During what has often been a dreary and depressing year between lockdowns, difficult personal circumstances and general uncertainty about the future, this newfound interest and appreciation for art has been an unlikely but valuble source of novelty, spontaneity and curiosity. When the days would otherwise meld into one another, exploring art has been greatly enjoyable and beneficial. I’m not exactly sure where in particular this newfound interest will take me, but I’m excited to explore the possibilities nonetheless.