The Plump Pelican Art Gallery
The layout of the gallery is based on the seven functions of Art
Gallery of Appreciation
One of our major flaws, and causes for unhappiness, is that we find it hard to take note of what is always around us. We suffer because we lose sight of the value of what is before us and yearn, often unfairly, for the imagined attractions elsewhere. Art is one resource that can lead us back to a more accurate assessment of what is valuable. It lies in the power of art to honour the elusive but real value of ordinary life
It is one of the secret, unacknowledged features of our relationship with art that many of its most prestigious and lauded examples can leave us a bit scared, or bored, or both. In the privacy of our own minds, an uncomfortable proportion of the world’s art collections can come across as alien and repulsive. Be very aware of how normal it is to harbour strongly negative views about things. Make yourself more at home with the seemingly alien mindsets of people who created some of the world’s most revered works of art. Look for points of connection between the artist’s and your own.
Cheerful, pleasant and pretty art. Firstly, pretty pictures are alleged to feed sentimentality. Sentimentality is a symptom of insufficient engagement with problems. Secondly, there is the related fear that prettiness will numb us and leave us insufficiently critical and alert to the injustices surrounding us. If the world was a kinder place, perhaps we would be less impressed by pretty works of art. One of the strangest features of experiencing art is its power to move us to tears.
Few of us are entirely balanced. Art can put us in touch with concentrated doses of our missing dispositions and thereby restore a measure of equilibrium to our inner selves. We hunger for artworks that will compensate for our inner fragility and help us return to a viable mean. Art holds out the promise of inner wholeness
Writing is the obvious response to the consequences of forgetting, art is the second central response. What we are worried about forgetting tends to be quite particular. Capturing the essence and personality, manages to capture the elements that are valuable but hard to hold on to. Art is a way of preserving experiences.
We are not transparent to ourselves. Getting others to share our experiences is difficult. Words can feel clumsy, “that is what I am like, sometimes; and I wish I were like that more often” Art has the ability to help us understand ourselves and then communicate who we are to others. We tend to care a lot about which works of art we place around us. We are unschooled in taking aesthetic things and re-positioning them in terms of our psychological lives
One of the unexpectedly important things art can do for us is to to teach us how to suffer more successfully. In art, sublimation refers to the psychological process of transformation, in which base and unimpressive experiences are converted into something noble and fine – exactly what might happen when sorrow meets art.