ART: The Big Friendly Giant

ART: The Big Friendly Giant


Art is daunting. Art is broad. Art is the big friendly giant who wakes you up in the middle of the night to give you a good fright, but turns out to be your best friend who takes you on adventures. 

I am not going to go on with more ideas on what art is because that’s a question I’ve been asked (and asking) throughout my five years at uni, and I’m over it. I suppose what art means to me is complete freedom in every sense of the word, with very little shame (unlike everything else I try to do in life ha). 

I love art because it can contain literally EVERYTHING. History, politics, theology, science, mathematics, emotion, psychology, astronomy, music, the list is endless. There is no right or wrong in art, and I understand for many this is frustrating. But that doesn’t mean creativity has to be off limits to people who prefer formula and logic. The forming of images requires the most precise measurements, and ideas can often fall into place as neatly as a numeric equation. 

It’s still gonna piss you off because it is so big; because a bloody tampon floating in a wine bottle can be as inspiring to some people as a Picasso is to others. There’s a lot of wonderful wank out there. I guarantee if you look, you will find something that clicks with you. If you can’t see anything that strikes your fancy, (here’s the beautiful part) MAKE SOMETHING. 

With the past few years of humanities cuts, not only in Dunedin but around New Zealand and the world, I don’t think it’s extreme of me to note that now more than ever we need to keep expressing ourselves through paint, poetry, photography and film (and more… sorry, as I said before…. so damn BROAD). I’m grateful to exist in a society that still values art, and I really hope we don’t slip into a 1984/Farenheit 451 situation juuuuuust yet. At least not in my lifetime pls. 

Reading back on what I’ve written, I’m not saying everything you see in a gallery or on the street is gonna be quality. But what is great to some can be shit to you; you like what you like, and that’s just… great. What I’m trying to communicate is that there’s no avoiding it honey. Art is everywhere. 

Hope that doesn’t make you claustrophobic. If it does, paint a sky. 

Next time someone tries to crush your creations and dreams, or argue the pointlessness and evident poverty that comes with art and being an artist, hold up your hand with all your sass and say: “sorry son. It’s art. I’m art. You’re art.”

This article first appeared in Issue 18, 2018.
Posted 7:05pm Thursday 2nd August 2018 by Jessica Thompson Carr.