The Poet and the Prophet — Contemporary Art and Spirituality

Synopsis:

Art and the human awareness of spirit are perhaps the most important developments of the human species. They remain among our most powerful tools for survival. But in the post-modern age when the art being produced is so baffling and religion so often seems an aging relic, it is tempting to conclude that they have become insignificant to progress. But such a belief is dangerous.

The Old Testament prophets were charged with both making the people acknowledge their condition and then putting forth a poetic vision of the possibilities for transformation. Like the ancient Hebrews, we too are exiled from the deeper values that we feel as individuals but find little expression in communal life.

Every people must have a vision. Shaping that vision is the role of the poet, (the people's poetic response in whatever way that appears). Art (the poetic) is our map to our own future and each one of us, whether we respond or not, is called to help us all get there. The poetic is the medium of communication with the spiritual dimension— it is the way the body communicates with the soul. When our external world seems devoid of meaning, art is the name for the way that we reconnect with it. While talent may be required for success in the commercial art world, for the spiritual pilgrim the necessary ingredients are quite different. All that's required are merely a heart, a brain and a soul--gifts that each of us possess.

In this presentation we will discuss the importance and values of the poetic capacity in each of us. By means of humor, song, and lecture, we will outline the basic techniques of energizing our own vision and expressive avenues, and through them, our spiritual co-creation.


Format:

Lecture/performance with and question/answer period.

Humanities disciplines

The major disciplines touched on in this presentation are art and religion. Much of the work also stems from psychology.

Expertise and research:

I have been teaching and speaking on this topic since 1987. Being a professional artist for the past 27 years in a culture that exhibits certain dysfunctional aspects, the subject of the function of the artist in society is one of my prime interests.

Furthermore, since our civilization is the first in history in which artists no longer speak the same language as their audience, I feel that the responsibility to bridge that gulf is shared by both sides. Therefore I feel that it is my professional obligation to bridge as much of the gap as possible myself as an artist, and to give the art-viewing audience as many tools as possible to try to do the same.

Appropriateness:

Most all members of contemporary society are confused by the mysterious and sometimes baffling art that our culture produces. Yet we are in need of art's counterbalancing message perhaps more now than ever. I believe that many people feel the need for art's mollifying effect in a violent, over-masculinized world and long to understand the mysteries of art.

Copyright © 2007 Holmes Studio