For me Art, in its numerous forms, is an escape from the reality I live in. At its best it allows me to become immersed in the vision of the creative mind from which it originated. For a brief moment I’m in another reality with entirely different set of rules and possibilities. Afterwards, it can influence me as to how perceive my own existence or inspire me to create or even see the world in an entirely new light. Some would say there is only one definite reality, but even the great Albert Einstein is quoted as saying ‘Reality is merely and illusion; albeit a persistent one.’ I believe that creative peoples do create their own reality through their work, and that when you experience their work you are in another reality. How often have you gone to a concert, play, art exhibit, or read a book that has emotionally, mentally, and perhaps even spiritually moved you? Left you with the sensation of ineffable awe? Perhaps influenced the way you approached life afterwards? When you experience something of that magnitude the everyday world does not exist any longer. All the tribulations and matters of your everyday life vanish, and are replaced by the rules and experiences that the creative mind has created in a particular piece of Art. In a sense the magnitude of the impact it has on you is as equal to that of the percieved reality you live in. While you are experiencing that piece of Art you are in another reality that is as valid as the everyday.
When we were children most of us had a strong sense of imagination. Its not uncommon to have had imaginary friends, or to believe that a blanket will protect us from a creature in the closet. Some of us may have even believed that certain stuffed animals or household items had their own personalities. For children the world of imagination is reality, and its only as we grow older that we are dissuade from such things, and have our imaginations subdued by responsibilities and logic. Soon the monster in the closet is dismissed as the play of moonlight and shadows on the wall. Imaginary friends become forgotten. Most of us lose something, and that’s our imaginations.
Our current society would not function if we all behaved like children, but I believe that imagination isn’t something that should be neglected, but rather encouraged. Stories, music, theater, dance, and artwork shake off the rust of ‘maturity’ and allow the audience to escape the mundane and experience an alternate reality, no matter how briefly, and hopefully use a portion of their mind, and perchance soul, in a way that they do not use in the world of adulthood. The viewer does come away with a sense that they’ve been some where that can not be visited by spending frequent flyer miles. A place that can be unsettling at times as well as oddly appealing, and most certainly a place worth making a return journey.