Last week we held the UK book launch for ‘Ross – A Journey into Art’, along with an exhibition of my paintings, at the Art Décor Gallery in Whalley. The book launch was a great success for us, followed the next evening by a charity event in aid of Westholme School. Thanks are due to my wife Maura and gallery owners Chris & Julie for all their help & assistance!
At the Westholme evening, I was asked to speak about “my journey into art” and I used a graphic that I had sketched as a basis for the talk. I titled this graphic “The artist’s simplified vision of the functions of the human brain”. I have given much thought to this graphic, which represents the two hemispheres of the brain working in opposite ways to create a “balance”.
Going back many thousands of years (to the time of the earliest known cave paintings), I believe that the human brain was in “balance”, as a natural part of the evolution process which ensured the survival of the human race.
At that time, man faced all kinds of survival challenges and would often have come face to face with large carnivores and predators. However, early man must have been able to harness all the planning, ingenuity and creative abilities of the human brain in order to survive and prosper among so many other, more physically powerful, species.
Unfortunately, in the present day, we think in quite a narrow, limited manner and the officially endorsed school curriculum gives little emphasis to a “balanced” education and seems more focussed on minimal achievements and directing each child to learning “facts” & achieving spurious “targets”. It is left to individual enlightened educators to create any sense of balance. Sadly, pupil ingenuity and creativity are often stifled and damaged by financial restrictions, with only a fortunate few gaining access to the very best education has to offer.
And now we are entering a new era of restrictions. I suggest that the current collapse of “free market capitalism” is a result of “systems imbalances” which have been exaggerated by ineffective leadership as well as personal greed. Due to the “galloping herd” effect it has been difficult for a number of years for any single commentator to encourage a change of direction. Unfortunately the front of the herd has now stampeded over the credit cliff. The big question now is: how do we stop the rest of the herd from following?
It is a privilege for the artist to be able to learn from the lessons of life and carry on painting!