Art. Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation and rational analysis. Science, for many, is the best methodology for determining this knowledge. While acknowledging that we should recognize the value of art as a source of knowledge.
Art mirrors reality. It can offer us a way in to understand the world and our place in it. Experience in all its richness embraces the impasse between word and image and reason and emotion. Experience is the personal interaction of selfand environment and the subsequent changes in both. Art can enable a dynamic flow of the intellectual and emotional responses between the artist and audience. So – the aesthetic experience is appreciating, percieving and enjoyed what is offered for the human spirit.
We look with both our hearts and heads – and in the seeing something new is created. Bringing oneself and ones experience creates an interaction that produces meanings in the connection. There is the possibility of something new – one hears somethng new, for example, every time one listens to a piece of Beethoven and with the pianist who interprets the score.
This is spiritual work as we are introduced into a world beyond the work and a deeper reality of the world in which we live in our ordinary experience. We are carried beyond ourselves to find ourselves. Perhaps this is why Art has been described as the highest human achievement. This experience is imaginative. Imagination connects us with soemthing deeper than words can express. We apprehend beauty in a particular ordering of elements and see that art can bear meaning and truth. Art can be radical as it expresses a vision for a more moral and ethical world. Charles Dickens’ fiction brought attention to the need for fundamental social reform.
The human soul needs Art with its power to express and speak. It can give our life vitalality, depth, significance and hope.