Been reading the catalogue for the exhibition: “Contemporary Australia: Optimism” held at the fabulous new Modern Art building of the Queensland Art Gallery in 2008. Apparently the Gallery intends a trienniel exhibition featuring the best Australian Art has to offer in Contemporary practice/culture …..and more power to them!
This is a great book about an exhibition I didn’t even know was on and wish like hell I had been to see!
It contains works from painters, drawers, installation and performance artists, sculptors, photographers, Leunig and even Jane Turner (aka “Kath” from the hit TV series ‘Kath & Kim’).
And it even contains the following wonderful quotes, analysis of various art forms and musings on optimism and it’s relationship to art practice that make me proud to be an artist:
“Going into the studio every day is an act of optimism”
“Optimism is a clear-cut matter of courage and commitment. (Artists) are committed to the creation of beauty and wonder, intrigued by exploration and given to wild leaps of imagination..”
“Humour and satire are powerful tools for defeating sadness and stimulating hope…(artists are) deliberately confronting challenges ranging from personal demons to social problems….”
“Optimism is colour…a celebration of life - joy, courage, a gesture of pure love and faith; an anti-dote to sorrow..”
“Australian optimism is provisional, fragile and skeptical ….(however) it’s the golden thread through the Australian Narrative..”
“Optimism sustains in times of trouble and through suffering – it’s a shared strategy for survival…”
“The commitment to questioning, invention, passion and energy (required by an optimist) are at the heart of studio practice…”
“There is the necessity of action if hope is to survive. Optimism makes every kind of action in and on the world possible..”
“(The artists’) ceaseless wonder before the world’s possibilities awaken our sense of renewal and anticipation…”
“Optimism – the light that guides “the better angels of our nature’ (borrowing from Abraham Lincoln)…”
“Blind optimism – a form of madness”
“(Artist) are able to see the beauty in every day things and smile…”
Now I’m feeling better about my role in the world and it’s future…..How about you? Are you proud of an artist’ contribution to our world? What do you think the nature of that contributuion is? Post your comments here.
Image: Genesis 2008 Oil On canvas, 110 x 83cm