A recent quote from long time Australian musician Vince Jones caught my eye in the Weekend Australian paper on the 18th March. Vince talked of integrity and always playing at the highest level. He said that being a musician requires dedication and practice and it was his description regarding music as art, and how art unites people, that resonated with me.
Vince believes that art has an impact on people’s souls; the opaque becomes visible, the mysterious clear and the probable necessary. I have witnessed this phenomena many times. In Shanghai in 2003 I had an epiphany standing in front of a painting by acclaimed Chinese artist Zhou Changjiang. I wrote about it in 2007 in the Gleaner or Gladiator book. I remember clearly being suddenly in a spin, disappearing into the painting in such a way that it changed me forever. I have been on a mission ever since and have my own experiences of viewer’s reaction to artwork .
Words and art connect. At times I unexpectedly find myself receiving confirmation of my creative journey. Recently I discovered the poems of Dorothy Walters. A retired university professor, Dorothy has written many wonderful poems and has published books including one I just ordered, ‘A Cloth of Fine Gold’.
Dorothy talks of true passion in the poem What a Heart Wants. She writes of an invitation that doesn’t come with bells and whistles but arrives as a soft whisper, in a language familiar but forgotten, that requires us to put down everything and be still and wait until something inside stirs. This is reminiscent of the way American artist Cy Twombly choose to work in his studio during his long distinguished career.
A more recent development in my journey is a special visit I am having in a few days time with a Shanghai couple. They are collectors of my paintings, and own the painting on the cover of the Gleaner or Gladiator book. On their first visit to Australia I am privileged to show them our country. The most amazing aspect of this visit is the connection that will occur, after nearly 10 years, with their long time friend Zhou Chaingjaing. Art does indeed unite people.
Places are still available in my Caloundra Regional Gallery workshop in May. See Workshop Page