Art is …

“the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power”

Oxford Dictionary

What is the Purpose of Art?

Tina Whiteley, Joint Textile Group Coordinator, Sept 2020

Most of us have a need to express our feelings or communicate our thoughts or ideas about life, existence, love, beauty, nature and politics, among other things. Art, in its many forms, such as the performing arts, music, sculpture, painting, writing and cooking is the channel or outlet we have to do this.

Machine embroidered artist trading card featuring an apple

Machine embroidered artist trading card by Tina Whiteley

Art can uplift, provoke, soothe, entertain and educate us and is an important part of our lives. At its most profound level, it takes us from the everyday to a place of introspection and contemplation, to see the bigger picture of the human condition.

Art also has a diverting or pleasurable purpose, both for the creator and the spectator or listener and can be a comfort in times, such as these we are experiencing in 2020.

You only have to look online at sites such as You Tube or Facebook to see how many people are being creative with our current situation and producing funny or entertaining clips to lift our spirits. Within communities, people are finding creative ways of helping others or producing artworks to decorate and beautify their neighbourhoods.

Machine embroidered artist trading card by Tina Whiteley

At Peninsula Arts many members continue to make art for themselves, their friends and families, not only to pass the time in a constructive way, but also to express their love and compassion for those people they cannot physically be with at the moment. It is as if we’re all posting (physically or online) parts of ourselves to share with others.  As corny as it sounds, art from the heart is certainly alive and well at the moment and is helping us all to stay connected.

Machine embroidered artist trading card by Tina Whiteley

As Covid 19 has meant we cannot meet at the studio, Zoom has been a big factor in helping members to share their art online with each other. Various groups have had successful e-meetings over the last few weeks.

Members of the textile group, for example, have decided to meet up via Zoom on the first Friday of every month and we’ve all enjoyed seeing everyone’s show and tell projects. The underlying message from everyone in the group seems to be that making art has helped to sustain them and lift their mood and well-being.

Machine embroidered artist trading card by Tina Whiteley

I know from my experience that my art has given me a sense of purpose and challenge each week to create new artist trading cards or other works of art to send out to everyone and in so doing has not only been fun, but has improved my sewing and design skills. It’s delightful to think that you can make someone else’s day by creating something special for them.

It’s also good to know that at Peninsula Arts we are all part of a great arts community that can transcend physical obstacles or barriers at this testing time, and unite us in the appreciation and the making of art.

Visit Tina’s website to see more examples of her beautiful textile art.