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Art and The Heart

Illustration Niki Fisher

‘The Arts’ is a catch-all for modes of human expression that use skill or imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others. It’s what happens when human creativity meets social life and the resulting works are appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

For artists and creators and watchers-on, art can help people to communicate what might otherwise go untold. Whether it’s painting, performing, writing or cooking, art allows room for the expression and examination of the most intimate and ordinary human dilemmas, to “wash away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” as Pablo Picasso said.

Art as Therapy written by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong makes the case for art as a tool for love, work, anxiety, self, politics and even free time. Artists have a unique way of forcing the general community to think about issues – illuminating the personal and the global experience and acknowledging and celebrating our own uniqueness and diversity. “Artists are our conscience”, says new MCA Chair Lorraine Tarabay.

As we prepared to publish, the Federal Government announced a $250 million dollar Arts & Entertainment stimulus package to deliver jobs and provide all Australians with more creative and cultural experiences, a step towards rebuilding the COVID-bruised industry and restoring keen audiences.

We hope you enjoy this edition, a tribute to the Arts – which enable us to find ourselves and lose ourselves (Thomas Merton), and the artists – who make life more bearable (Kurt Vonnegut) and help us see ourselves in things that are not us (Chuck Klosterman).

In Thought Georgina Safe explores the correlation between art and health, charting historic references to the psychological and physiological impact of art and exploring modern day art therapies that address mental, emotional and physical conditions, from dementia to speech therapy.

Siena White’s Case looks at the numbers behind the works, galleries and fairs driving the billion dollar global contemporary art industry. Plus, the creative contribution to the Australian economy and the gaping hole created by the pandemic.

In Profile we hear from the new MCA Chair, Lorraine Tarabay, in conversation with Naomi Tosic about programming that focuses on Australian artists, the important role of art in our culture, and why art and humanitarian causes will be forever linked.

Guide takes a tour of the curated delight that is The Office Space’s personal art collection, arranged at Paramount By The Office Space for the enjoyment of tenants and guests.

Spotlight takes a fascinating look behind the scenes on high-profile portrait shoots, through the eyes of three leading Australian photographers charged with capturing the most powerful and influential people of our time.

In Pulse Claudia Osborne celebrates the return of live performances post-lockdown, albeit in innovative new formats, and lists the ones to watch (and book).

“Art is the lie that enables us to realise the truth.” – Pablo Picasso.

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