Notes From a Younger Self

“The more I think about it, the more I lean towards working somewhere that gives art to the people. Art still feels very much closed off, reserved only for those with a lot of money or a degree in the field. Even those who frequent museums or non-profit organisations often say that they ‘don’t understand it’, or are simply trying to cross each tourist attraction off their list. I want to ask how the world gets those people involved in the arts, for they are no different to those who have been educated at a high level or brought up amid the sector. I admire those who work in sales or auction houses, but it makes me sad to think of all those great works of art going largely unnoticed by society purely because they don’t have enough money. The gap between accessible art and the commercial feels larger than ever. Some trained in Art History will go on to write and research or become head of great museums and institutions. But I feel that more can be done. The stigma that surrounds this world is, unfortunately, not entirely untrue. I feel it is my time to choose whether I fulfil that stigma or not. I fear that if I stay in the commercial world i’ll lose sight of why art became important to me, and how I still believe it is and always will be important to the world.

‘Art gives value to survival’. Art history cannot remain its own discipline, or it will gradually fade away over time. Schools rarely teach it, simply because it is deemed inferior and not worth the time. The gap gets bigger. But what if there was a way to combine art with other disciplines, ones to which I believe it is so intrinsically connected. The duality of theology and art brought me into this world, and yet that combination seems shockingly unspoken of. Perhaps the de-stigmatisation of art history through its re-emergence as an all-round, universal discipline will ignite society and show them that this is not something to be afraid of. This should bridge the gap between commercial and non-profit.

I refuse to accept the notion that art is not important. It is humanity, culture, and society. Art should not be something to be feared. One should not have to excuse oneself or feel shame for not being knowledgable in the subject. We’ve lost the ability to look, simply to see and experience what is in front of us. Art is now money, names, reputation, profit. Theology and the humanities force us to recognise human behaviour and belief, as does a work of art. Art is sustained by those who see, not through those who know all there is to know. I recognise that difference in people, those who see art for their financial value or profitable gain versus those who see art for its moral and essentially human values. Perhaps there is a middle ground that has not yet been created. Perhaps that is what we all need to do.”

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