Thursday, May 05, 2011

I Feel the Power - Can You?

BC Museum of Anthropology
I just spent two weeks in the beautiful city of Vancouver and with the mountains and sea it reminds me of NZ where I am originally from. Last time we were there some 18 years ago, we went to see the BC Museum of Anthropology and because we enjoyed it so much we decided to go again.  Along with artifacts from all over the world they have a huge collection of First Nation Art all displayed in the most wonderful setting. As an artist we tend to think of art as a painting to hang on the wall or a sculpture to place in a room but art for many people was, and in some countries still is, an important part of their belief system and central to their culture and religion.  The power of this type of art is amazing and in their presence you can feel this power really oozing from them!
This got me thinking about art in today's world.  Many artists that would, in other cultures and times, have been making religious or cultural work now work in special effects for movies, animation, advertising, architecture etc and they do amazing work and all reflective of our cultural times.  We are surrounded by work of this kind but don't often stop to appreciate the skill of these artists who for most part go unknown. This work has it's own special power to influence and shape our ideas but I wonder will it still have any power in the centuries to come.

I always love to get your comments. 

Also if you have any friends who you think would enjoy my blog or my art I would really appreciate it if you shared it with them.


Eva said...

Powerful is exactly how I felt about these remarkable pieces.How our culture will express itself down the road is a toss up. However. I've been watching "The Amazing Race' and there has been a 'punk' couple whose outfits and body decorations could be influenced by Indian and other earlier cultures. Recently I've been intrigued by layers patterns and textures that in some minor way relate to Persian and Aboriginal art..

Susanne said...

Thanks for your comment Eva. I haven't seen the program you speak of but I also love all the wonderful traditional patterns from other cultures. What I find interesting too is how making art was for many tribal peoples very spiritual and the process was more important than the finished result.

Donna Iona Drozda said...

Hi Susanne

I LOVE THIS POST!! I adore this magnificent museum which I haven't visited except through fabulous that you have been there twice.

Your words deeply resonate for me. I appreciate what you say here:

The power of this type of art is amazing and in their presence you can feel this power really oozing from them!

My brother lives in Alaska and has shared so much of this type of other worldy spirited work with me.

Robert has spent decades working to preserve the creative heritage as well as the future creative lives of the Native peoples.

We artists can identify this indigenous expressiveness as the purest demonstration of what meaningful work looks and feels like. I think, having just seen a major exhibition of his work, of how the art world was forever changed when Picasso became inspired by African sculpture.

Thank you for these beautiful nature infused images...they lift me up.

Susanne said...

It was so nice to get your comment Donna and hear how much this post resonated with you. It's hard to explain the power that these artifacts have but it's certainly felt in their presence and yes Picasso definately tapped into this creative well.

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