Why our special relationship with art is so good for our well-being
Almost every day is an international day of celebration for something. From the sublime (International Women’s Day) to the ridiculous (International Bunsen Burner Day , which is on the 31st of March in case you were wondering) but sometimes there’s one that touches our hearts. It turns out that two such days occurred this week; International Locate an Old Friend Day (17th) & International First Love Day(18th). So, if you’re wondering what that feeling of nostalgia in the air is about, now you know.
If you even have a passing interest in art I bet you have a favourite artwork. Perhaps it’s one that you own and enjoy every day, maybe it’s a classic from art history that you saw in a museum or maybe both!
I have quite a few myself, surprise, surprise. You’ve heard about one before .. Me & Jeff’s Rabbit. have a special connection. Some I’ve waited for years to meet, like Correggio’s ‘Leda & the Swan’. I tracked it down in the early days of the internet (yes, I am that old 🙂 ) to Berlin’s Gemäldegalerie and, finally, two years ago on a trip to the city I dragged my patient friends to the gallery and promptly abandoned them in the lobby to go and find it. It really felt like meeting an old pal. I’m not ashamed to admit it brought a tear to my eye when I sat in front of it.
Others I credit for my love of art like Rembrandt’s ‘Rest on the Flight to Egypt’ and Leonardo’s ‘Virgin of the Rocks’. Both of these I came across as a teenager on visits to the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Gallery in London respectively and it’s safe to say I fell hook, line and sinker for them
Whenever we meet a piece of art it evokes a response. Much like our best friends, the connection we make with some is special. It’s a place we go when we need a dose of happy, calming, support or distraction.
In a busy and hectic world that never stops moving art is one of the few constants. Your favourite painting is always there. It never changes. It makes you feel good without fail.
Every artist who creates work shares a little bit of themselves with us. The pieces that we connect with inspire us to explore creativity or to revisit a part of ourselves we might have forgotten. That’s why a reunion with your favourite artwork is like meeting an old friend. That’s the power of creativity
So, this weekend, in honour of international locate and old friend day and first love day, I recommend you spend some time with the artwork that’s special to you. Look it up online, visit a museum or pour a cuppa and sit across from it in your home. I guarantee you’ll be in the better of your catch up heading into Monday.
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