The Canadian Art Database

John K. Grande

The Spiritual in Art Linking Nature to it All

[ 376 words ]

We live in a time when all forms — natural or synthetic — are generally not read as a natural flow. Each element in our environment is actually linked to all others. This interconnection between things and inter-relation of elements is as much physical as it is spiritual. We can think of the spiritual as something emphatic and yet not quantifiable. The sense that resources (ourselves included) have limits is essential to our survival both as individuals and as a planet

Screen driven imagery has made us extremely efficient 'readers' of visual and informational data, but the downside to this is we read the tactile, physical world around us in the same way. A hands-off approach to reality tends to work against the individual's understanding of experience.

The objectification of imagery has lead to a simplification of nature, a simplification of human emotions. Walking in the woods is a thoroughly satisfying experience. It liberates our soul from the quantification of emotions, feelings, experiences. Object products tend to train us to read the material world in reverse.

A wooden box is actually a tree cut into linear sections and reassembled. We think of the box as a box with no prior history or context. Change is manifest in the texture and erosion of all things. Experience is superior to the material world that inspired it. The flux and flow of energies that surround us cannot be measured. They cannot be quantified.

Cultural identity is as necessary to humanity as the sun is to nature, for it guides us to identify who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. The impulse to create reflects an implicit desire to improve the world around us. Art can no longer be purely object based. The limits imposed on us by nature are guiding us to establish a new global ethic that involves the mutual respect between all living things. Art draws upon that flow of energies that is part of the process of life, the procreative core of our need to transform, enrich, express.

Text: © John K. Grande. All rights reserved.

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