I’d be hard-pressed to find a more meaningful building than Westminster Abbey. Within those beautiful walls one can find history, art, and worship all living under the same roof. Everything there has a purpose, and that purpose is to honour. The effect is powerful.
I remember seeing it all for myself, and thrilling over it.
That same day, I also went to Tate Modern. It didn’t quite leave the same impression on me.
Anything was acceptable at Tate Modern, and so much of it ended up looking pointless, unappealing, or downright un-nerving. One of the displays seemed to be a cluster of lumps, painted brown. What it brought to mind was anything but edifying.
Perhaps it’s uncultured of me to be criticizing art, especially in this era. But has creativity lost its purpose?
Art does more than mirror culture; it affects culture. It’s like any other human interaction, really. After all, words and actions can either make or break a relationship, family, even community.
With that in mind, it makes sense that worthwhile art will create a worthwhile response in the audience. I believe the best way to do this is to make art that reflects what is true, what is good, and what is beautiful. Granted, sometimes it may include what is false, wicked, and ugly, but only to serve as a contrast for the better and brighter elements.
I have many more thoughts on the subject, but I will close with this:
Art is, in essence, a reminder.
What do I want to remind my audience of?