Concentration and mindfulness play a massive part in any artists practice- without it the work they produced would be of little use to anyone. In terms of making artwork, it can be of great importance to remain detached from ‘real- life’ to think clearly and act effectively. Many sportsmen and women have mini- rituals they perform, or mechanisms they use, to get themselves in ‘the zone’ to achieve their best; increasing their ability to focus on a single thing and allow everything else to drop away. Lots of great thinkers and entrepreneurs also do this; it is a form of light meditation- wiping the dust off the mirror, so to speak. The act of making art can also be ritualistic; creating daily routines, work patterns and warm- ups to help intensify the present moment, distilling concentration and focusing the mind so that one is creating within a temporal non- space.
Art can play an important function to those searching for a sense of space and calm, often found within the white walls of a gallery. More often in a quiet corner in front of a painting where you are left to muse on the image, its conception, meaning and circumstance all lead you to experience outside yourself. Time stands still. The relationship between you, your body, and the painting, is all there is. In a hard- working, fast- paced city, taking the time to find stillness, release and let go of the responsibilities you have and the opinions you hold is important.
My own daily mindfulness practice helps me to stay aware of my body; its movements and actions, and also calms my mind, clearing a space for my energy to flow more freely. In turn, this prepares an internal environment conducive for ideas to grow and be nourished. Were it not for even a short period each day for myself, I would feel less open to inspiration. To me art and mindfulness are inseparable. A cave painting contains intent and action within each mark, each figure. When we make art, we are making a reflection of the consciousness and culture of our times. We need to remain the master craftsmen, the ones who speak sense, retaining control even if we do not have control. Let’s focus at the task at hand…
Words Fred Sorrell