Artistic Expression That Is Compromised

The world of art is a confusing place. For me the creative process is quite simple. It is not an intellectual affair.  There are moments when cognitive process do  take over and there are moments of more free expression from places within that are prior to this quality of formulation. Writing can be a similar experience with a further step of formulation to contend with. Language itself involves a representational system that must be mastered.  But there can be a free-flowing and creative  aspect to the expression that originates from the heart using the brain as a tool but not overly involving it.

I become disinterested in creating when I find myself  becoming compromised by these cognitive processes. They seem to exclude so much of what I value in creating.  This can occur at a cultural level, subtly or not so subtly as artistic creation is over analyzed, commoditized and assessed and art can become defined in a way that is fixed and elitist.  A community and dialect and way of seeing is formulated that reinforces superficial concepts that reinforce an institutionalized approach. Artistic expression is outside of this for me. From this an attachment  to  a way of seeing that perpetuates rigidly defined and fixed perceptions and impressions that is extended to  individuals and self-identification occurs. In turn these  norms can be an enormous influence.  I think that this can as well occur with religion, culture and anything else that we become attached to. Refining our  awareness of how we confine and/or limit our experience through this process can be  helpful. This awareness itself allows for a letting go and an unfolding that are at the heart of art and creation and life. Artistic creation is a holistic process and is affected by all else.

Chogyam Trungpa raised  the notion  of “spiritual materialism” in his book of the same name.  We can come to compromise and limit our spirituality through the process of attachment to and pursuit of  concepts and in the rigid identification with these concepts. The  essence of spiritual  awareness and unfolding occurs at a level that is prior to conception and prior to cognition. It is a part of our human development and functioning that we process information through our cerebral processes but something is lost in our conditioning that promotes a cerebral function that dominates all other aspects of our being.

Author: Gord Clements

I find some satisfaction in the act of attempting to express my experience of life through painting, writing, language and other art forms. I have been painting for over thirty five years and combine my love of art with a meditative and contemplative way of life. I have an intuitive sense that true creativity is something that arises from beyond and through Qthe self that can be explored and shared through some form of expression although I always hope to open to the influence of that which is beyond my limited sense of self.

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