The Meaning of Art | By Ariel Durkin

When you’re going on a walk and suddenly you stop and what you’re looking at takes your breath away, fills you up inside with emotions. For that one moment in time a person feels complete, like nothing else matters. The beauty of that view, that landscape, is captivating. A kind of beauty hard to express in words. Like a newborn baby or a first kiss, the magic inside of you is so precious and irreplaceable. Once my breath was completely stolen from me by a piece in the Leeds Art Gallery. Noah’s Sacrifice by Daniel Maclise (1800’s) blew me away. You could just stop everything in the world and stand there for hours just being immersed in the presence of this huge painting. Something about it was so magical. It’s not often that someone captures the essence and beauty of something more majestic than the world.

There’s that rare art piece that’s beautifully comparable to the creations of even God. Nature always takes my breath away. The majestic ability of God to construct something like a river and trees and life and light and darkness and sunshine and the stars, it just blows my mind. When someone captures that ability (or the essence of it) in art, that’s worth your time. Art that doesn’t do that to me feels boring. I hope to one day be able to create something purely beautiful. Even if I’m unaware at the moment, to be caught off guard by my own creations. To create a piece of me that’s reflecting me beautifully. So I guess if you want to create something pure and breath-taking, you yourself must be pure, beautiful and breath-taking. (Not entirely physically, more spiritually.) Art is a child. It’s born from you, it has your DNA. Everything you create is traceable to you. Like how you can always recognize someone’s writing if you know them really well because it’s ‘their’ writing, or ‘their’ art.

To create a piece you labour and push yourself to create or bring to the world the reproduction of a thought conceived inside of you. Being an artist is like being permanently pregnant. And so I guess everyone is an artist since everyone creates something. Just by talking you are creating words. That’s why words are so important to us, because they are art. Some words take your breath away and some make you angry, sad, happy. Any creation (even the slightest movement… dance?) can conjure up billions and billions of feelings inside of you. I guess that’s why art is important, because it moves us. Without being moved we’re all just standing still being dead. Art is life.

This creative work is republished from Ariel Durkin is entering her third year at the University of Alberta in Fine Arts. 

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