Monday, 6 January 2014

Art as inspiration and as the 'art-track' of your life

James Allan Untitled (2013)
There was an article in The Guardian recently by Alain de Botton which was discussing whether art can provide solace, hope and reassurance. For me this is a given, of course it can and it doesn't stop there. Art can provide inspiration for writers too. I suggest to many of my students and the authors I work with that they should go to art galleries. Sit and take in the pictures/sculptures. Let them talk to you. You never know what might come out of such an experience. It may be an idea for a novel or the starting lines of a poem. Open your heart to all art. (Have you ever noticed that art is such an important part of the word heart...)

But it also got me thinking about the idea of an 'art-track' as opposed to a 'sound-track' to your life. I believe our tastes in art evolves and develops throughout our lives, consequently, it only seems logical that, like with music, certain artefacts can inspire and remind us of certain moments in time. They capture a memory. Below are some of my 'art-tracks'...

The James Allan piece above is an installation that I find intriguing. It makes me think of Icarus and soaring high into the sky. James is an artist I have only recently found. He is based in New Zealand.

The picture on the right was introduced to me by Philip Pullman at a conference. When I asked him about the picture he very kindly sent me all the details and a link to where I could find it. Unfortunately it was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Somewhere I have yet to manage to get to. One day...

I love the simplicity of it all. It is entitled 'Man Reading in the Garden' by Daumier. I was lucky enough to be given a copy of it for my birthday last year. It is waiting to be hung in my office. It is such a peaceful picture and reading in the dappled shade of a garden is something I love to do.

This is obviously a Rothko and it brings back some very happy memories of a time just after my final viva for my PhD. I went straight up to London for a conference and to spend some time with a great friend. We talked, laughed and cried a lot over those few days as we drank a lot of bubbles to celebrate my success. But we also spent a lot of time in companionable silence in the Rothko Room at the Tate Modern. A perfect time.

Then there is of course Folon - another artist that I was introduced to during my PhD.

This is one of my particular favourites as I love the idea that your head is being led by your heart. The colours are so warm and joyous.

The picture on the right was a piece of original art I bought in my past life when I was a business person. It was an investment. There are two more original pieces waiting to come back out from under the stairs as I reclaim my house. I loved this piece for the colours.

And finally, my latest acquisition, which you have already seen. A Christmas present, just called 'It's never too late...' And it is never too late to find the art that makes your heart soar and sing.

Obviously these are just a few of the pieces of art I love. I could go on forever...but won't! What are you favourite pieces and how do they inspire you.

Here is an appropriate song for today and another one from the sound track of my life. This was one of my mother's favourite songs when I was very young. It is Vincent by Don McLean


  1. I love is idea. I'm going to have to see if I can come up with my own art-track :-)

    1. I hope you have fun doing it - it was really hard to pick just a few pictures!

  2. There was a superb programme on Sky Arts on Friday last (I think) called 'Picasso & Braque go to the Movies' - made by Martin Scorsese, it was a conideration of how much the cinema influenced both of them. Here's a trailer - I think the full DVD is only on purchase. I used the programme itself as inspiration to do some of my own writing...

  3. Find the music you love, discover tracks, connect to artists and do a lot more all the music buffs only on soundcloud