I was watching the news this morning and there was a feature on a photographic exhibition including some images that are almost 200 years old. It made me think of Art in a variety of contexts.
Crochet work by Charlotte R Atkinson
We had a Christmas Fair at church last Sunday and my daughter displayed her crocheting work.
So photography, which many more of us are involved in with the advent of camera phones, is an artistic activity along with loads of hand made items using a variety of skills.
Then there is music which is currently under threat in local authority areas. My own council, Kirklees, is considering withdrawing funding for the music support services which will affect many children across the area. Many people consider themselves as not being musical but I believe what they mean is that the aren't proficient in playing an instrument or reading music. If you consider your musical experience from the earliest parts of your life it has always been there, from the very first tunes hummed by your mother, to the songs taught in schools, your development through various music styles as a teenager until your tastes consolidate. Along that route some people delve deeper and become creators of music but it is part of everyone's life.
Although there are many other artistic forms, I'm going to finish with writing. In some ways once you have been taught your letters you are encouraged to write 'news' or tell stories. Again some people get into it, some hate it and some have the longing to write in their bones but ignore it or feel the need to put it off until they have more time. The thing is, and I'm going to use an analogy I've used often before, it is rather like eating an elephant it all begins with the first mouthful or in the case of writing the first word.
Finally, I have seen one or two comments about the discouragement you can feel when criticised and the efforts fellow writers have made to encourage others. Well I have my own theories about critics and reviewers and the way in which the class system controls what is considered 'in' or 'out' but the composer Sibelius once said,
'They don't erect statues to critics'
In an effort to keep me in my place when I quoted that one of my friends said that they don't erect them to crap writers either! The point is who decides between the good and the crap and it tends to depend on your place in the world. In an effort to make better anyone out there feeling down about the way their work has been received, Charles Dickens was criticised for his use of English Grammar.