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Art – Power And Therapy

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“Blackberry Woman” by Richmond Barthé (1932)



(The following is an excerpt from my blog, “Music And Pain”)

“How does music help with my healing? Music allows me to articulate emotions and thoughts I wouldn’t otherwise be able to give full voice to. I understand more because of it and feel like finally I can express what’s building up.”Olivia Wilmot, Earth and the Fullness

Hopefully, one day, I get to become a music therapist. Why? Seeing people heal, knowing their stories, watching how they respond to the topic of music is amazing to me. I’ve never gotten over the fact that musical patterns could have such an enormous impact on people, things and most if not all matter around us.

Until then, I do what I can through the musical capabilities that I am blessed with now, and I give thanks for other players, instrumentalists, vocalists and creators who do the same. Painters, sculptors, graphic designers, dancers, mimes, poets, photographers, actors, collectors, directors and many other capacities that I could name can be credited with feeding the world therapy and relief through their various practices. They sculpt the thoughts and ideas of their generation, forging truth, dispelling lies, and ensuring that all can have a good time when the stress becomes too much.

There are a lot of people on earth today. Everyone has a perspective. Everyone has a voice. These voices shape the communities we form. In these communities, like-minded individuals can sharpen their wits and talents by analyzing, comparing and discussing ideas. The more these ideas spread, is the more art becomes a vessel for change, or just for making yourself heard and felt; an opportunity to contribute your input to the history of the world in which we live. This is the never ending cycle of creation.

One article to check out would be “How Art Became Irrelevant” by Michael Lewis. In it, he states: “For most of human history, works of visual art were the direct expression of the society that made them. The artist was not an autonomous creator; he worked at the behest of his patron, making objects that expressed in visible form that patron’s beliefs and aspirations. As society changed, its chief patrons changed—from medieval bishop to absolutist despot to captain of industry—and art changed along with it. Such is patronage, the mechanism by which the hopes, values, and fears of a society make themselves visible in art. When World War I broke out in 1914, that mechanism was delivered a blow from which it never quite recovered. If human experience is the raw material of art, here was material aplenty but of the sort that few patrons would choose to look upon.”

More importantly, he outlines that “A whole spectrum of other political causes soon found expression in art—environmentalism, feminism, Chicano rights. This new seriousness differed sharply from the old…This was the counterculture that emerged after the collapse of the postwar liberal consensus, and its stance was essentially adversarial, distinguished by hostility to the existing order. It viewed the advanced industrial society of the West not as the highest development of human civilization but rather as a corrupt enterprise whose shameful legacy was slavery, colonialism, and exploitation.”


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