Art so often inspires and enriches our vision and faith. Sandra Palmer writes:
Several versions of the same game have been circulating Facebook recently. The idea is to fill Facebook with artworks.
My father established a weekly ritual whereby we visited the National Gallery shop, found a postcard I liked and then searched for the picture. Afterwards we had a drink at Lyons Corner House.
My favourite picture then was this painting of Mary from the workshop of Albrecht Durer.
Thus I was very keen to join the Facebook game by indicating in a comment box that I would like an artist to research. One artist I was given was the Australian aboriginal woman artist- Kngwarreye. This example of her work appears to be a bold dramatic abstract painting. However it also has deep spiritual significance depicting the desert land, the sacred walks and the holy places.
In turn I gave one friend an Australian artist – Arthur Boyd. The painting she chose captures the mystery, harshness, and wonder of the Australian bush.
But it was clear that a couple of friends did not share the same taste as me. One Australian friend wrote that the Hungarian artist Csontvary had taken her out of her comfort zone. She chose this painting by him, not one I knew already. I wondered why since we often like the same paintings.
Is it that an oil painting cannot be captured by the flat screen of the Internet ? The colours, the texture and the size are lost.
Or is it that we need experience to appreciate a work of art. Visits to Germany lay ahead of me when I loved the painting of Mary but I knew about mothers and babies, having had a younger sister and a baby doll to dress, rock and put to bed. Perhaps some understanding of the culture, and some experience of its landscape is a prerequisite of appreciating a painting. It needs to speak to something in our personal history or give us a fresh view of the known for us to engage with it .
Having now googled three artists, one of which I really didn’t like, I recommend taking up the challenge of joining this facebook game even if it only gives a taste of seeing the original work of art.
Look out here in Lent for more favourite choices of artwork…