So…part four already in my little series reflecting on Maria Popova’s Art as Therapy.
For me both the process of making art and the final product, is re-centring for me. Picking up a lump of polymer, rolling it, twisting it, allowing something to emerge stills my monkey mind. Going down the stairs to my making room truly is my oasis. Here I wrote about making a necklace that reminds me to choose; here I write about an amulet that reminds me to be grateful and playful.
De Boton and Armstrong believe that we want to be good, but sometimes lose the plot (my translation!) At these points, they say, we can derive enormous benefit from works of art that encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves.
What a wonderful thought! I could make something that encourages someone to be the best version of themselves! (I have to confess that part of me recoils at the vaguely new-agey ring to this overworked phrase but I choose to ignore that to hear deeper truths!)
In my art I do try to express or consolidate what I am learning about how to live. I make altars, amulets, talismans (talismen?) and jewellery to encourage, remind, comfort or nudge. I wrote here about creating a piece with my mother based on a book by Jan Chozen Bays to help me cultivate mindfulness in my everyday life.
De Boton and Armstrong say that: Art can save us time — and save our lives — through opportune and visceral reminders of balance and goodness that we should never presume we know enough about already.
Not sure that my art is life saving, but some of my art reminds me, at least, of a goodness and balance that I can attain to.