Unlike the usual New Year guidelines, the author discourages resolutions. She also provides tips on art appreciation.
2015 was one of my best years yet. It was the year I decided I would not have any resolutions, and live for the moment instead. I decided to spend the year doing what I love and loving what I do, and probably living every year after it the same way. As cliché as it may sound, truly living the moment is the key to all good things. When I say live, I mean truly feel and love and allow yourself to be immersed in every aspect of whatever you are doing. Breathe in sync with the living things around you, and find life in the non-living.
Learning to do so will give you a different level of life appreciation. Art is one of life’s finest pleasures. Give yourself time to go around and enjoy art exhibitions around you. Observe, without prejudgment or presumption. For a moment, feel and don’t think. Give the artwork the chance to speak to you about every detail it holds. Respect the amount of love and devotion that its creator put into it. Check what year it was made and what happened in that year. Appreciate how long it has lived and how much history it may have witnessed. Imagine how many faces it may have encountered. Look up the artists and try to meet them, have a conversation about the work if they are alive. If they are not, read about them and you may be fascinated with their stories.
Enjoying art is an art by itself. Do not let your dinner plans, or busy mind, or thoughts about which work to take a selfie with and which social media channel to share it through, distract you from the greatness of what you are witnessing. For a human to create a beautiful body of work out of ordinary things like a canvas and set of colors is such an accomplishment which deserves gratitude by simple observation and respect.
Find your own way of making your day at a museum or a gallery an enjoyable experience.
I came across a Facebook post the other day of a father playing “guess the artists” game with his daughter at a museum. My friend fantasizes about which artwork he is going to steal if he had the chance to during his tour through an exhibition. Another friend of mine gives life to the characters in the artworks and creates imaginary conversations and encounters between them, inspired by Night at the Museum. All these are ways to allow your mind to be fully engaged in the experience and not wander around to a different place, which takes away the enjoyment of admiring the art and letting it take you over.
Sharjah Art Foundation recently closed down the Light Show, which was a great success. Regardless of the significance of the exhibition, the artworks and the artists, I believe what people were drawn to the most was the “unordinarity” of the works. It’s not every day that you get to see several works which all use light as medium, spread beautifully across five different buildings. Each work had so much space to breathe and allow you to walk in and around to fully live the experience. I have watched people going around the exhibition amazed by the power of light. It was truly inspiring.
As we say goodbye to year and welcome another, free yourself of the pressure of resolutions. Feel more, think less and love art!