I have been debating, deconstructing and trying to figure out what art is for a while now. I had come to a few conclusions, one being that it was about intent, but a discussion with someoneiknow last night brought up that it isn’t just about the artist otherwise artists would just shut all their works up in a dark room. The moment something is put out for public ‘consumption’ the viewer becomes part of the equation. So the question remains unanswered and thats probably as it should be.
I was at the library today (I love my library!) getting some books to counter what my daughter is being taught about art at school. The goal of learning to ‘colour inside the lines’ really grates on me, but apparently its about structure and discipline *shudder*. Anyway I found some of my answers – or at least a discussion of the topic in the children’s section. “What is Art? Experience art in the world around you” by Rosemary Davidson is excellent and although written for young people covers the bases really well. I guess anyone who has been to art school knows this stuff inside out but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of the basics. I liked this “What is Art? introduces the idea that art can be a personal everyday experience – rather than remote and ‘out there’“, which is sort of what my blog is about.
I also picked up the fantastic book “Welcome to the South Seas” by Gregory O’Brien. Again aimed at a younger audience, what I think is quite brilliant is that it covers many different art-forms. It doesn’t back away from introducing kids to Don Driver, although I am a little thankful it is “Yellow Tentacle Pram” not “Ritual”.
To me art is where you find it (and home is where the art is). As an example I found this blog entry – just scroll down to the pictures. It starts with “Just imagine you’re in a very tiny art gallery… that smells a bit like moth balls…” The items in themselves may not be art but the photographs as a collection (and I can imagine them mounted in a gallery) certainly are.