Christmas trees might bedeck the malls and Phoctober might be long over but I'm still out there with my camera snapping away - and calling it Novography - thanks to Sameera. And of course, as usual, unable to help myself, I've been playing... So I started with the two images below...
And was then drawn to the inside of the vase itself...
And unable to let well enough alone, I then doddled into the digital darkroom...
The pic above is one of a series - I had a fine old time with lighting effects to create a range of images which look like molten metal - very cool, if I say so myself - well, okay, so I think so anyway! And needless to say, on a few some bubbles also arose. What can I say, I'm playing, I'm having fun - isn't that what creativity is all about? No, don't go getting all purist on me, I just won't have it. I'll sit here and play devil's advocate and insist that creativity is about what I enjoying making and seeing/reading/hearing.
Which sort of brings me to something which has been rattling around in my head for a while now. This notion of the critic and "what is art". While I have been known in my time to be a literary and artistic snob, I do take serious issue with the line of the critic. What gives any one person the right to sit in judgement over the creative outpourings of another? Yes, I've heard all the stock in trade arguments about education, and standards and what is considered "good" literature, art, music, etc. - along with all the other arguments about the role of the critic to inform the great unwashed masses. But for me it always comes back to two things: Judgement and arrogance. And both, it has long struck me, stem from insecurity which stems from fear (which is the direct counter to love - this is a whole other topic which I may - or not - address at a later date). And fear, let me point out, inevitably results in divisiveness. Now, why, I want to know, can the person who paints chocolate box paintings, and the person who enjoys those images, not just be left alone to indulge in that enjoyment? If Joe Blogs prefers the floral tributes on canvas painted by his Aunty Maud to the squares and angles of Picasso or Braque, must he immediately be seen as some kind of philistine?
It's a contentious argument, I know, but one which I had a fine time making earlier this year when in conversation with a man who is undertaking his Masters degree in Creative Writing. His position was very much one of the literary snob. And it's a position that I not only find arrogant but also elitist. It's an approach, I think, which serves to further highlight our differences, to focus on that age old position that some of us are so much better than the rest of you. "We read Proust, Voltaire, Zola, you read Grisham, Deighton and Steele. Pah and bah humbug." I'm not, let me point out, in this instance referring to badly written material, but I am speaking about that which is considered "non-literary".
I suppose it is less the detail of the matter I object to than the "grand vision", the bigger picture - the indictment of our already divided humanity that some should persist on creating further divides, forming more labels - this is acceptable, that is not. "If you read this you are unobjectionable, if you read that, you simply cannot, my dear, be allowed admittance to the rarefied air of our inner circle. Go away, you horrible, narrow, little person."
I could witter on, and I admit to dealing with a complex topic rather simplistically - but one has to start somewhere and I'm not about to attempt either an essay or a dissertation on a blog!
So, now that I may have dropped the proverbial cat in amongst the pigeons, what do you think? C'mon over to comments and let's chat.
Meanwhile I leave you with some of these to smile at or growl over...
“The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all”
“Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better.”
“A critic is someone who never actually goes to the battle, yet who afterwards comes out shooting the wounded.”
“The critic is a man who prefers the indolence of opinion to the trials of action.”
John Mason Brown
Hmm, and now I'm left wondering how on earth this line of thinking arose - I had planned an entirely different post for today. Oh well, thank goodness there's tomorrow!