• Piyumi Kapugeekiyana

Art that moves

I'm always amazed by artists who can evoke the unspoken.

So often, we try to impose order on everything we do. From a young age, we are taught to structure our thoughts before we write. To create outlines before we draw. To test-drive our ideas and develop blueprints before we execute. We are hard-wired to control our environment, and unfortunately, that includes our art.

Is it any wonder that we cannot bear the blank page and the blinking cursor? Is it any wonder that the instrument terrifies us? Or the canvas refuses to co-operate? We want to control Creativity but her gifts cannot be coerced into manifestation.

Creativity requires that we show up, yes. Only a disciplined pursuit can produce work of high quality. But in the end, you cannot force it. What you force ends up looking contrived and inauthentic. When you wait, however, the Muse shows up and tells the story the world needs to hear. That's how nothing becomes something.

Later, try as you might, you cannot reverse-engineer this process of art coming into being. You can replicate the ritual of sitting down to work; sharpening your pencils, filling your water pots, turning to a blank page, fine-tuning your instrument. But what flows out of you is not up to you.

I think that's why a great song, painting, poem or story doesn't necessarily make perfect sense. The words don't always follow a discernible pattern. Perhaps the painting distorts reality. Maybe the lyrics tell you one thing but the melody is a whole different story.

But, still, you find yourself transported, staring at a wall because of a memory, moved to tears, healed of a wound, unable to explain how or why it feels like someone, somehow, has grasped a tiny fragment of your truth and given it expression.


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