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 A Comfort Level for Beauty
   A few years ago I had a showing of my art in a public gallery. It was the largest display of my visual art to date and the gallery room looked marvelous. The show was set to last a month and the Gallery decided to hold a second  "meet the artist" day on the final Saturday of the show. This day happened to coincide with an Anniversary of D-Day (June 6th) so the Gallery had set up extra displays of wartime memorabilia in the same room as my art. Talk about contrasts!
  On the day of the event, I observed many people looking at the displays of  memorabilia- (photos, ration books, helmets, rifles, gun and howitzer shells, bullets etc) but very few people looked at the art on the walls. I overheard some comments like: "oh look -a 20mm cannon shell" but I did not talk to anyone about my art. In fact most people seemed a bit intimidated by the art on the walls...yet they seemed comfortable with the artifacts of war and extreme violence and hardship in the display cases
  Indeed, this was VERY interesting! I was observing the fact that we (as a society) are more familiar and comfortable with acts of violence than acts of beauty. Our media is full of it and often references it while art- has little place in it. Generally people are uncomfortable in art galleries - as Art has been sold and promoted as something "professional" artists do- just as music is something  "Musicians" create and the rest of us listen to.
  So perhaps that is where the problem lies - not that we "like" war (or violence) or are comfortable with it, but that we no longer seem to have a reference point for acts of beauty or acts of creativity. We are so often told that Humans are a violent species- that violence, and therefore war, is inevitable. But, how often do we read that we are a creative species- that acts of beauty and creativity are inevitable? So, instead of accepting that violence and warfare are human, let us focus on and accept that it is our creativity that makes us human and divine and our acts of cruelty and violence that take us further from our humanity
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