Sunday, 2 March 2014

The beauty around us all, every day

Van Gogh Starry Night -not in the exhibition, but I like it.
Monet Sunset in Venice
This weekend, we went to see an art exhibition with friends. In our English school system we never had History of Art lessons like they do in Italy. School children here from the age of eleven are taught how to appreciate art. It is in their blood. We are more self-taught. My brother and his wife say they wander round art exhibitions asking themselves which painting they would like to have hanging on their wall at home.

Last week we went to see Monuments Men with George Clooney and Matt Damon. The big dilemma running through the film was "are Art works worth a human sacrifice?" I 'll let you watch the film to form your own opinion.
Yesterday, as I listened to the Audio tape, the thing that strikes me again and again, is how artists, just like the poets I love so much, are telling us the same thing. It is in Nature, that is all around us , the earth, wind, fire, water, the skies and the sweeping landscapes, the little bubbling brooks, the beauty of the changing seasons, it is here where our salvation lies. Wherever we live, from Alaska to the desert to the jungle, Nature must be allowed to blossom in our hearts. The challenge to urban developers is to build towns where Nature can happily flourish, and in so doing this will protect the countryside.
Here are a few of the paintings we saw and a poem by Coleridge that I think says in words what the paintings say. These talented artists are able to express through their work, the deep sentiments and yearnings, the joy and wonder that is what we all feel in our hearts.

It may indeed be fantasy when I
Essay to draw from all created things,
Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings,
And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie,
Lessons of love and earnest piety,
So let it be,and if the wide world rings,
In mock of this belief, it brings
Not fear, and grief, nor vain perplexity.
So will I build my altar in the fields,
And the blue sky in fretted dome shall be,
And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields
Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee
The only God!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Monet- Poppies

A poem by John Berger in the Italian daily paper, Il Corriere della sera.

When I'm drawing I feel
a little closer to the way birds
Navigate when flying, or to
hares finding shelter if pursued,
or to fish knowing where
to spawn, or trees finding
their way to the light, or bees
constructing their cells

Quando disegno mi sento
un po' vicino al modo
di destreggiarsi degli uccelli
in volo alle lepri che cercano
un nascondino allorchè
si sentono braccate, ai pesci
che sanno dove deporre le uova.
agli albei che si aprono
un Varco verso le luce, o alle api
che costruiscono le loro celle.

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