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january 2008


by Martin Challis

For me, Art in 2008 will be the art of doing and being: doing things artfully, artistically and authentically; and being attentive to inspiration, intuition and impulse; being true to self in order to be true to others.

The art of being will focus on the art of refinement. A process that observes the need for trial and error, a process that feeds knowing through doing and doing through knowing.  

I will attempt not to divide my life into two halves: one half being art and the other non art. Rather, I will work to bring artfulness into all aspects of my life: or the full-ness-of-art.  

For me art is imagination applied: it is interpretation and synthesis: it is an expression of intention and can be a thing, a practice, or a refinement.

Einstein said: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.. his eyes are closed.

I will keep my eyes open to the mystery and the wonder of life. I will stand in awe of the forces of the natural and cosmic world. In 2008 and beyond I will remind myself to see the art in nature and life and in human endeavour.  

Traditionally I am used to seeing Art as a thing: I see a painting, a poem, a dance, a sculpture, a song and call it Art. And if asked to form a definition I could say that Art is: the expression of an intention or an impulse that is a felt experience through a medium which is known to the artist through his or her practice.

But is it necessary for me to draw a line between artistic practice and non-artistic practice? Is it not possible to view the process of life itself as an artistic process? Is it just a matter of changing the paradigm?  

I would say that in the year and years to come, if I am true to myself – by this I mean that if my occupations and expressions are coming from a place of truth and deep satisfaction; then for me this can be a measurement of my Art and Artistic Process.

Einstein again:

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

I see my art and artistic process as the way out of this delusion; a way to widen my circles of compassion, wonder, appreciation and awe. It is the way for me to join the whole and see myself as part of something more wide and wonderful than I am intellectually capable of grasping. It is through my Art and Artistic Practice that I sense the wonder of the whole.

This for me is Art in 2008 and beyond.

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About This Article

©2008 Martin Challis
©2008 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Martin Challis is an actor, director and
a columnist and writer for Scene4
For more of his commentary and articles, check the Archives
Read his Blog



january 2008

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