“Art is everything you don’t have to do” – Brian Eno

Brian Eno’s lecture to the AA School of Architecture takes on the problem of how to talk about, to write about, to classify and describe art. Or that was the plan. The lecture starts well with the idea that the arts – all of them – are everything you don’t have to do as illustrated by screwdrivers. The business end is a fixed design, functional and with no room for manoeuvre, but the handle – that can be plain, striped, blue, red, yellow, pink, fat, thin, shaped, pared down. The business end is what you have to do, the handle … Continue reading “Art is everything you don’t have to do” – Brian Eno

The meaning of art — Conboyhillpaintingmedia

After a lifetime in health care with varying degrees of responsibility, it was a joy to retire and do something less critical. Art would be about footling around with paint and getting charcoal on your nose, and nobody would die if I forgot who Matisse was. I was wrong on all counts except, obviously, the […] The meaning of art — Conboyhillpaintingmedia This is a re-post from one of my OCA blogs sparked by a series of exercises that seemed, in the current context which, in all fairness, the author of the course unit could not have anticipated, empty, trivial, self … Continue reading The meaning of art — Conboyhillpaintingmedia

Art, meaning, and communication

This is a reblog (a copy actually as you’re only allowed one reblog and I’d already parked this on my other arty blog). It’s the result of some mental scratching around, trying to understand the incomprehensible in art and literature. Buckle up. I’ve been having a think about art and creative output generally, and two things strike me, the first being that I like all sorts of things and I appreciate others even if I don’t like them. The difference? The first will likely be attractive in some way – a well written, zipping along story or an immediately engaging … Continue reading Art, meaning, and communication

Left brain, right brain, or something else?

The old left brain/right brain chestnut keeps on popping up, especially in reference to creativity. Dead but it won’t lie down. It comes from some very old studies on people with severe epilepsy whose brain hemispheres were surgically separated to prevent seizures swamping the whole cortex, plus the observation that motor functions are generally right side dominant (governed by the left motor cortex), and that language tends to be located in the left temporal lobe. Early studies seemed to support a view that the left brain is logical, ordered, and language related while the right is more spatial and image-led. … Continue reading Left brain, right brain, or something else?

Art and politics

There’s no credit for this image on the Facebook page so I’ve clipped the whole post and added a link. I find this profoundly moving, skilful, and so simply, alarmingly, graphically on point. Science fiction has produced numerous stories of the environmental apocalypse of our own making [unfortunately I can’t put my finger on one for now] but this sculpture is the best illustration I’ve seen. I like art to have meaning, which is not to say I need it always to make political points or to be in-your-face emotional wrecking balls, just to say something that prompts a bit … Continue reading Art and politics

‘I don’t know’

Cross posted from my coursework blog. This is why I value that little phrase “I don’t know” so highly. It’s small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. If Isaac Newton had never said to himself “I don’t know,” the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them with gusto. Had my compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie never said to herself “I don’t … Continue reading ‘I don’t know’