Friday, 10 August 2012

The Artist and Her Other Half

                          The Artist and Her Other Half
In this day of such convenient technology, I often wonder, why people still flock to theatres to watch live performances where the price of a ticket is about the price of a CD or DVD. Or better yet why not just free stream something online in the comfort of your own home?
Why endure  traffic jams & parking hassles  or juggle work schedules & family commitments to be in your seat on time.

When we buy a ticket for a show be it music, dance or a play, somewhere we take the risk that this might be the night where the artist may be not give her best performance. We take the risk along with the performer that the lights or sound may malfunction or one or many may mess up a scene or a step.

Why then, in spite of the potential for disappointment are we still so drawn to the world of artists and live performances?

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
C.G. Jung

All of us are born with unique gifts and abilities but I’ve found that those who choose to become artists claim that path tenaciously, sometimes like medicine or like a life jacket.
I have found that an artist, any kind of an artist, be it a painter, composer, dancer, architect or even someone who uses food to create a masterpiece, has the ability to see, hear, experience and explore the world in a way that is out of the ordinary.

How an artist is able to make use of that ability is termed as "talent" by those who qualify merit.

All artists (recognized or not) interpret what they taste, smell, see, and hear around them in ways that are unique to them. I believe those extraordinary abilities are their senses, interpreting the energies of the universe...
Where does an artist’s colour palette come from?
Or how does a musician create a tune, or set the rhythm?
It’s not from the mind! It comes from our interaction with Mother Nature, and from our response to the contrasts and contradictions in our environment.
Every shade of every colour exists in the planet around us, the space in between the sounds around us, create the beats; our every mood and emotion can be found in the light of the moon and the sun, in the dark of the sky and in the scape of topography around us.

Artists have the ability to experience these more vividly and their task is then to express and create something from those nuances.
Their canvas could be the drum, a string, the stage, a plate or a page.

Think of Mozart making music in his head even when he was deaf, Van Gogh presenting the myriad of colours in a sunflower in a way that no other person had done, that too when he was apparently on the brink of losing his mind.

Or take someone like Pina Bausch who found ways to express eras and revolutions through her body. We artists are explorers and interpreters of energies.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
C.G. Jung

The main difference for me, between an artist and someone who is not, is that the artist will take all the good and the bad from her life and put it to work.

Great works come from the integration of the light and the shadow parts of us. By milking every experience, from excruciating pain that comes from loss to the euphoria of "first love’s" spell to find meaning, healing and growth is the artists journey of alchemy.
It’s a step towards integration, towards wholeness, towards the divine.
We all seek that connection in different ways, through romance, the pursuit of success, some do it in a temple or a mosque and some through a song or a poem  as an act of prayer.

So the question is again...
Why go to any kind of  art shows instead of perusing them online? 

Because somewhere we want see, meet  & experience the creator of the work.
 We want to hear the background story of where she comes from, what life experience brought her to this point.
We want to see where and how it influences the creation.
We look for the ordinariness in the extraordinary.
 We seek to find the human-ness, hoping that maybe through the artist  we have a taste of the connection to spirit.
To see through their eyes what we feel in our hearts.

In contradiction

My acting teacher Barry John  once asked us 
“What is the most important factor in theatre?”
His answer …”the audience”, without them your work doesn’t have a point.

Now years later, that answer still troubles me; as an actor, writer and director I always honor the importance of the audience and yet I also see the value of following your passion regardless of whether it is acknowledged or deemed worthy by others.
I think one of the things that binds the performer and the audience is the pursuit of truth. The audience can always spot the lie, the in- authenticity of your performance and the performer always knows when she is faking it.

In my reality, the artist and the audience are two parts of a whole; two equal parts that bring creation full circle. Like the artist and its muse!
They are only half complete without the other.
But together they can hold the space for creation, for transformation, for inspiration…and most of all for the potential for magic!

Copyright © 2012 Divya Chandra

When we create or appreciate art, we set free the spirit trapped within. That is why art arouses such joy. Art—whether skillfully executed or not—is the emotion, the pleasure of expressing life as it is. Those who see art are moved by its passion and strength, its intensity and beauty. That is why it is impossible to separate life from art. Political and economic developments may seem to dominate the news, but culture and education are the forces that actually shape an age, since they transform the human heart. ~ Dr Daisaku Ikeda

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