The effect of simply looking at a piece of art which ‘speaks’ to us is well known to the art loving community. In these blogs we’ve already talked at length about the powerful, palliative effect art can have on the receptive viewer, actually producing chemical changes in the brain which improve emotional, mental and physical health.
But if you already have a passion for the intense pleasure of engaging with art, you don’t really need to understand what’s happening in the cerebral cortex whenever a painting excites or moves you. You can just sit back and enjoy the effect of entering other worlds through the magic doorways of art and then emerging from those journeys calmer, sharper and more focused. There is no real need to analyse it.
And perhaps there’s no need to wonder whether other people, (who have not learned the skills required for art appreciation), are being deprived of a historically fundamental and therapeutic human interaction. Mostly, we don’t stop to think about it. But isn’t it just possible that if we could share the benefits of art with others we would make a real contribution to the world we live in?