Spirituality is definitely a part of the art world, just as it is for any other creative aspect of life. Spirituality is about a connection to something greater than your conscious self – your human spirit. The creative side of us demands that we connect with a part of our essence which allows us to transfer an image or thought to a form in which the senses can absorb the intended message. For me, Spirituality is about connecting with that which is not already encompassed within the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. It is a knowledge or energy that comes from something greater than we are as individuals.
One of the things I found myself saying repeatedly during the course of this class was “it depends on the context”. There are many viewpoints to almost everything in the world. So it depends on which angle you are looking at the issue from. A Jewish person is going to have a much different reaction to a crucifix than a Christian person is. Beliefs, experiences, likes, dislikes, personality, geographical location, knowledge and much more can bring context to a piece of art that that others may not have.
Even the definition of spirituality can differ person to person. I’ve learned that I can only view things through my database of information to draw the conclusions that work for me. That knowledge database may or may not be complete, but the reality it is it’s all I have to work with. I agree with Plate’s philosophy "A central notion here is that perceptions are hypotheses." We don’t know how complete our database of information really is. Just as our eyes can’t always be objective to what we see, sometimes we need to question whether or know we are s...
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...ing not only the reactions, but the reasons behind the reactions, we can learn to change those patterns that cause us pain or do not serve our higher purpose.
This class has brought into focus how spirituality or the human spirit, is a part of all that we create whether it is a picture, a piece of music or a final paper for a humanities class. When we connect with who we are inside, it allows us to better connect and understand with those around us. We are lucky to live in the San Francisco Bay Area where we have access to a plethora of art, music, technology and people to practice our newly learned skills on.
Dunham, Bandhu. (2005). Creative Life: Spirit, Power and Human Contact in the Practice of Art. Prescott, AZ: Hohm Press.
Plate, S. Brent (Ed.). (2002). Religion, Art, & Visual Culture: A cross-cultural reader. New York: Palgrave
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