DO WE NEED ART? Yes!
Art has been with us for over 30,000 years. Origins of art are ancient and lie within Africa, before worldwide human dispersal. The earliest known evidence of ‘artistic behaviour’ is of human body decoration, including skin coloring with ochre and the use of beads, although both may have had functional origins.
Modern cosmetics and tattoos have a history, originating with the use of ochre for coloring the skin hundreds of millennia ago. The human love of body decoration involves the application of color. The oldest known use of ochre is ∼ 164,000 BC from a South African culture.
So art has been all around us for millennial bringing us joy by making us pretty; coloring and designing our clothing; and adding visual art like paintings and sculptures to record animals, history, honor famous persons or just to make lovely structures. There are many reasons artists create. Michelangelo described his incentive as ‘I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.’
There is scientific evidence that there is a neurological relationship between visual creativity and language. For the viewer, art is healthy for our mental health. Think of the joy you get from going to a concert, visiting an art museum or watching a dance recital.
“With recent advances in biological, cognitive and neurological science, there are new forms of evidence on the arts and the brain. For example, researchers have used biofeedback to study the effects of visual art on neural circuits and neuroendocrine markers to find biological evidence that visual art promotes health, wellness and fosters adaptive responses to stress.” (Beth Daley, the Conversation, a non-profit organization)
Art gives meaning to our lives. It helps us understand our world. It is an essential part of our culture because it allows us to have a deeper understanding of our emotions; increases our self-awareness, and allows us to be open to new ideas and experiences. “Additionally, science has shown that viewing beautiful artwork can actually cause you to experience the same physical reactions we get when we fall in love.” (Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist with the University of London)
So go fall in love. Visit the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts new exhibit, SWEET IMPOSSIBLE BLOSSOMS with Arianna Bara, Chris Graebner and Ian Herdell. Now showing March 22nd to April 24th, 2022.