Manifestos are all the rage these days with everyone, from artists to internet marketers, writing their personal raisons d’etre in them. I’ve thought for a long time that I should do the same but I’d rather be painting. So in that spirit, I wrote my thoughts and feelings upon the launching of the online gallery Unframed, in a blogpost on 9 October last year. I have re-played it here.
If you aren’t yet familiar with the gallery I suggest you check it out. If you’re an artist, consider applying for a group or solo show, because we all need more art in our lives.
Fill us up with joy and beauty
I’d like to fill the world with beauty and joy. We need more beauty and joy in our lives to counter the messages of violence, hostility and intolerance we’re bombarded with daily in the media. We need more beauty and joy in our lives to help us appreciate how beautiful our lives really are and how much joy we derive from them and from those we know and love. We need art that is a feast for the eyes and a challenge to the mind, art that touches our psyche and our soul. I’d like to fill the world with beauty and joy, it’s one of my big “whys” of painting, but I can’t do it alone.
Artists have their own reasons for making work, for creating. The why is important for each artist to help them keep creating. The effect of the work, quite apart from the why of the artist, is its emotional, spiritual, physical or mental impact on the viewer. I hope that viewers of art everywhere are influenced by – are infected by the beauty of the work they see; that they derive joy not only from the visual stimulation, but from the mental, emotional and spiritual as well. I hope they find art to be a meaningful catalyst for them in thinking about their lives; one that affects them daily just like the media but in a positive way.
So we need to look at more art. It should be seen and experienced daily. We need to talk more about the art we see. We need to include everyone in this conversation. That’s why we’re here. That’s why Unframed was born.
There are more people creating art worldwide than ever before and there are more opportunities for artists to not only create work, but also to share it. Yet many artists have no real platform for sharing their work either online or off. They do not live where their tribe lives, where people who enjoy and appreciate the work they make can drink it in and savor it.
Yes the Internet has changed the way we view art, yet there are still many people who are un-represented or under-represented, whose work is hidden on the Internet in the same way it may be in the physical world.
An artist’s work benefits not only from more exposure but also from a critical dialogue, a meaningful conversation around the work itself. Unframed was born so that we can have that. We’re here to provide a platform for good work, an online gallery with curated exhibitions – online. We’ll provide a context in which to view the work, to create a forum for thinking and talking about the work. We’ll show art that provokes comment as well as appreciation, that challenges thought and opinion, that showcases its own aesthetics and practitioners, and that provides a venue for those whose work might not otherwise be experienced.
Join us in showing and viewing this work, in creating a dialogue and excitement around the art. Let’s raise the bar for experiencing art online, and for interactions about today’s artwork and artists. Let’s look at and think about and be challenged by and discuss art in all its many forms and whys.
…and let’s fill the world with joy and beauty.