My thoughts on May’s monthly peace challenge creep in at the end of the month so the old adage better late than never is ringing in my ears! Kozo said “I believe that art has the ability to transform the soul. If art can change a soul, then it can change the world” and asked “What piece of art makes you a more peaceful person?”
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I love art in all its various forms. From Renaissance artists to contemporary sculptors, obscure jewellery makers to talented instrumentalists I find all forms of art transformative and peace-bringing. This may well be because I used to study art and music. When life was less complicated I devoted a fair amount of my time to creative pursuits.
I used to make pottery; hand-thrown pots, vases, bowls and mugs. Shaping the clay using only the pressure of my hands, some water and a manual potters wheel was very peaceful for me. I could easily drift into another world free from all the constraints of this one. Unfortunately I sold most of my handiwork and my remaining pieces are with family and friends, I don’t have any photos to show you. If you ever get the opportunity to try making hand-thrown pottery, give it a go.
I also used to draw and paint extensively. From whole-wall murals like the copy of Hogwarts school that emblazoned my son’s bedroom when he was younger to the pen and ink picture of a geisha below a cherry tree that’s in my Dad’s house. I sold most of my drawings when I was younger, more easily lured by money and believed I had plenty of time to pursue my interest in art. I still draw and paint occasionally when my joints aren’t too inflamed to do so. I agree with Kozo, art can transform the soul. I remember reading Herbert Read’s book ‘Education Through Art’ as a teenager and much of what he said fascinated me. The quote “ars longa vita brevis” stayed with me. After serving in the first World War and being decorated for bravery twice Read became a committed pacifist. He died the year before I was born but I’d have liked the opportunity to meet him; it seems strangely coincidental that I decided to join B4peace and someone who had a lasting impact on my thoughts about art and education was similarly inclined towards the case for peace.
So here are a few pieces of my own art, drawings and photography, that help me be a more peaceful person along with a few pieces from more famous artists / photographers that remind me why peace is the only way.
Read / See other Art Thou Peaceful posts here: