Art Makes Something Greater Than Art

Pencil Drawing entitled Paths of Creation by Mark Turner
“Paths of Creation,” pencil, Mark Turner, 2016, from chapter 3 of his book Your Table of Creation

This is the seventh in a series which you can start HERE, or review the previous post HERE.  This post corresponds to the beginning of chapter 3 in my book Your Table of Creation  entitled “Exhibition.”

You have asked and received the inspiration for an idea. Known only to you as it grew in your mind, you began to seek physical ways and forms which could make the idea known to others. If you chose not to repeat a known success, your execution stage included an exploration into unknown territory. As you pushed ahead in materializing your inspiration you learned and grew into new realizations. Perhaps you discovered new materials, new techniques, stories that had not been told before, moves or sounds that had been only dreams, understanding which you did not have before. It is natural to want to “report your findings,” “announce your discovery” of something no one knew quite that way before.

After Exploration – Expansion

We do not want just a parking place for this thing we have made, but to give it a life in which its effect will become greater than its temporal form. Breaking into new territory opens the eyes of our souls to realize life is bigger than we had thought. Now we want to bring our community here to enjoy what we have discovered.

I may think it is enough for me to enjoy my creation alone, but, the probability that there are people like me in the rest of the world, increases the prospect that my creation could fill needs of others too. This suggests that I have made a rallying point for some community. People come together around such creations and discover the truth that we are not alone, that others unknown, or passed over, share an inspiration embodied by my creation.

Could it be that my creation is a vehicle for a dynamic, on-going spiritual reality and not an end in itself? What if my creation causes people to come together and interact in a way that causes further creation, that my creation is a catalyst for others to do their works, or even inspires them to collaborate?

This is why I say the exhibition stage is “knocking intentionally.” What I have brought forth from my personal, inner thoughts, and taken pains to materialize, I now intentionally bring to others’ doors. I offer it as a link in the growing network of people who will open to its meaning. If I will knock, my creations will contribute to the expanded life of humanity.

Exhibition Is In the Original Inspiration

Long before we show, or make our creation accessible to others, we are sensing needs. Sometimes the prospect of the exhibition is the very spark of the inspiration: “Oh, they are going to love this!” For this reason the temptation to jump past the thorough planning and execution of the idea, right into the exhibition has sabotaged the potential impact of many an idea. On the other hand, a spontaneously improvised show may be appropriate if you have the capacity.

It is often a need which raises the first questions we ask in our inspiration. In some way we are imagining what an audience, or market wants. We think ahead and build into our creation aspects which will help our recipients open to our idea. In the Gospels Jesus would give his message to the masses only in short stories. Perhaps this was to help them remember, retell it and think about the meaning long after he was gone. I have heard of people retelling my own stories and I know they are reviewing the meaning I want them to contemplate.

Your Creation Causes Creation

When your creation causes people to interact with each other they are customizing your idea to their world view, their personal lives. They converse about something in your creation which sparks an idea within them, or connects with other ideas. The conversation is influencing the community imagination, possibly drawing some creators to collaborate on a heretofore unthought of creation. Yes, it may take multiple generations of individuals presenting their creations until a real group is inspired, but each creation does move humanity incrementally toward another breakthrough. If, that is, you and I take our creations all the way through their exhibitions.

Before continuing our discussion of the Exhibition Stage, consider these two prompts from The Table of Creation:

Is my creation bringing others into the new world I have discovered?
Is my creation making a larger community with potential of virally changing the world for the better?

Be one of the community building around this series. I invite you to get your copy of the art journal/adult coloring book version which I have created for this series. To get your copy click on the “Buy Now” button at right. Then go to our Facebook group page HERE, ask to join and share your experience of the book.