Art And Nature Nature And Art Essay

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Art And Nature, Nature And Art Essay, Research Paper Getting Back to Basics: Art and Nature, Nature and Art, Art and Man In earliest times primitive people made contact with the outside world through the same five senses used by people today. They could hear the sounds of animals, see objects, feel the rain on their faces, smell the fragrance of wild flowers, and taste berries and other foods. Primitive people also expressed their feelings through art and dance. The cave paintings in Lascaux, France, which were drawn some 27,000 years ago, depicted animals of the time. Do these images show Paleolithic man s continuity with nature? It is not known whether these pictures had a methodical, or a magical or religious purpose; however, they did show that primitive people had both a

need and a talent for self-expression. In Suzi Gablik s book, Conversations before the End of Time, Gablik touches base with several artists analyzing the discontinuity between man and nature, nature and art, and art and man. During interviews with each artist, philosophical questions arise, such as what is art for (Ellen Dissanayake), are humans really at the apex of the pyramid (Christopher Manes), and can mankind survive without modern technological civilization (Rachel Dutton and Rob Olds)? Links between ecology, psychology, and art are explored, and the consensus among the artists states that mankind needs to change how we live with the earth by getting back to the basics. What is Art For? & Making Art About Centipedes If you were to ask Ellen Dissanayake what is art

for, she would reply that art is making special. Dissanayake believes that humans, since the beginning, have been attracted to objects that were extraordinary or special , and make special things to show that we care and have regard for those things. Most importantly, art is for everyone and not solely for an elite group of artists in the art world. Upon first reading this article, I agreed with Dissanayake, however after rereading, I discovered that there was some hypocrisy in what she was saying. Initially, Dissanayake created a solid argument on why art is important to man, why we create art, and to whom art is created. However, when linking this to the importance that man must realize that we cannot go on living in ways that are so mechanical, materialistic and hard on the

environment (Dissanayake, p.54), Dissanayake separated man into a Darwinist view of nature, and man s superiority over it. In my opinion, this view is the reason man is disconnected with nature. Christopher Manes stated during his interview, man is not at the apex of the pyramid (p. 88). In other words, to believe that we are more important and better suited to rule and control nature is to believe that nature is not equal to man. This discontinuity between nature and man is what allows man to destroy and dominate over nature. According to Dissanayake, Humans are unique because we are the only ones able to produce art, and we do so because we enjoy aesthetically pleasing things that we, in turn, make special . Dissanayake states that Paleolithic man created art because man enjoys

beautiful things. Dissanayake also speaks of the hunter-gatherers as making art for decorative purposes and using art for participation in the social order . However, Dissanayake has separated man from nature, and thus man from art. Paleolithic man observed and studied nature, most likely for survival. Paleolithic man presumably created art for reasons other than aesthetics, they were possibly created as shamanic visions, or hunting rituals. The truth is, that we can only theorize the purpose of art and why humans have always enjoyed art making. Nonetheless, I must agree with Manes when he stated, if you watch nature it does basically what we do (p.98). Does that mean that nature can create art too? Absolutely. Making Art About Centipedes & Doin Dirt Time Cave paintings are