Picturing Mind: Paradox, Indeterminacy and Consciousness in Art and Poetry

Picturing Mind: Paradox, Indeterminacy and Consciousness in Art and Poetry

Picturing Mind: Paradox, Indeterminacy and Consciousness in Art and Poetry

Picturing Mind: Paradox, Indeterminacy and Consciousness in Art and Poetry

Excerpt

It might be useful to the reader to know something of the compositional history of this book and to have a brief outline of the main themes.

A first draft of Part 2 was written back in 1994 and published in 1995. (Danvers 1995: 289-297) In revising it for this volume I realise that much of it still seems to be relevant, providing as it does a nonspecialist framework with which to think about perception, the embodied mind and art as a mode of knowing. At the time, and to some extent still, there was/is a widespread view that the primary function of art was/is as a mode of expression, a vehicle for the display and direct transfer of emotion or feeling from the artist to the viewer via the art object. This seems to me to be only one side of the story and needs to be counterbalanced by another narrative articulating the cognitive function of art - if art is to be taken seriously as a mode of doing, knowing and being.

Part 3 is based on notes and papers written between 1995 and 2000 when my own art practice was focused on the making of drawings and paintings that analysed the ways in which we encounter objects as perceptual and cognitive events. At the time I considered myself as making a very small contribution to the long history of still-life painting, a tradition which, in my view, still has much unfinished business in relation to investigating and celebrating how we engage with a world that has material physicality at one level and yet is also a field of immaterial energies at another level.

Part 4 takes a step further some of the ideas and issues arising from the practice of observational drawing and painting, exploring the ways in which we exist as interdependent participants in a field of relationships. Buddhist concepts of sunyata, 'emptiness', and tathata . . .

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