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)

New exhibit at Hillsborough Gallery of Arts

 

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.

~Jude Lobe