Episode 85: What is the purpose of Art?

In an interview, writer John O’Donohue describe art as the process of bringing together the inner and outer landscapes.  We have an aesthetic desire to capture the beauty of the world around us, and at the same time have a deep urge to express what is inside which cannot be so easily described.

So what is art for? What purpose does it serve for us as individuals and for our society? How does the experience of creating art differ from a visit to a museum to view the artwork of others?

This week, Clay and Sarah discuss the purpose and role of Art in our lives.


In this episode:

  • Flow state, inner landscapes and the experience of making art
  • Art in a museum – what we look for and why we enjoy it
  • Everyone is an artist with a vast imagination
  • Attitudes that shut us off from Art
  • Clay and Sarah’s favourites from the Art world


“Viewed dispassionately, it could be that making art is merely our way of compensating for the evolutionary failure of consciousness,” writes Ted Oland in How Artists Find Their Way in an Uncertain World.  “Perhaps our conscious separation of the world into self and not-self makes it impossible for us to immerse ourselves in the totality of experience, and so we try to recapture that totality through our art.”


So perhaps art is a deeper process than we might imagine.


What do you think? What form of art do you practice? What works of art do you love the most? Do you feel certain attitudes you learned as an adult have shut you off from creating art yourself?