The bright hues of a new year

In these often dark times of strife, conflicts and wars, sometimes it is not economic well-being that heals wounds, but rather, humanitarian gestures.
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

It’s a brand new year again. Glistening with the shimmer of hope and repolished dreams, the year beckons with a million promises. Dusting off the weariness of year-ending parties and last year’s disappointments, we stand up again to bravely believe that this year will be unlike any other. We are absolutely confident that the car we wanted to buy and the house we wished to build will certainly be ours in the coming months. Shoes wiped clean, we get ready for another year of the eternal rat race.

Artists, though, herald each year with resolutions set to a very different tune. No exotic vacations or jaw-dropping turnovers on our bucket lists. The only thing we wish for, year after year, is to create more art. That masterpiece always seems to be around the corner, waiting to burst forth from our being. You may stifle a yawn and wonder what the purpose of such a pursuit that takes up years of one’s life could ever be. How can the obvious ambitions of a better life with all its allurements, not tempt one enough to weave its way into the list of New Year resolutions? Perhaps, that is how the DNA of an artist works. The desire to excel in self-expression and produce something of consequence outweighs every other resolve.

In these often dark times of strife, conflicts and wars, sometimes it is not economic well-being that heals wounds, but rather, humanitarian gestures. While the world kills and maims over territorial disputes and unnamed disagreements, art transcends all barriers, providing solace in challenging times.

Over immeasurable centuries, art has served as a documentation of the times. The lines and sketches left behind in the caves of prehistoric men lived on to tell us about the evolution of mankind. The Egyptians filled their tombs with hieroglyphics that presented us with slices of their daily existence. Paintings from the medieval era and after, exposed injustices against communities and people long after all material traces were erased from history. Besides documentation, art opens up new perspectives of looking at the world around us. Shaping cultures and passing on traditions and cultural values through generations, art has helped preserve the old while introducing new horizons.

The purpose of art can thus read on like a tome but discussions and any further analysis prove useless until people incorporate its worth into their lives. Beginning with our education system where the subject of art has been relegated to the fringes, to the aesthetics of our immediate surroundings, we must bring in the sensitivity of art to create a beautiful tomorrow.

In this new year of 2024, while you go about finalising determined goals and recipes for success and a fat bank balance, do take a moment to also resolve to set aside some time for art, in the pauses that life provides. Visit a museum, find joy when your children paint their visions, no matter how illogical it may seem to be, and most importantly, spare a minute to desire ART in some form in your lives.

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The New Indian Express