what’s your take?
Delight, elation, extreme gladness
More remarkable than happiness, more profound than pleasure, quieter than ecstasy and deeper than gladness, joy is an expansive radiant energy leading to a state of full, vital existence. It entails a trust in the benevolence of the universe and in the natural order of things. True joy is transformative. When we open our hearts to joy, we feel grounded, yet light. And we notice, with rapture, the beauty of sunrise, a baby’s smile and the small, ordinary, everyday miracles of life.
Being thankful; show appreciation
“The greatest of the virtues” and “parent of all others”, according to Cicero the Roman philosopher, gratitude has been throughout history a focal point of all the major religions. It is a learned process and needs intention and direction. And for gratitude to exist, there must first be the recognition of what is, an understanding that we have all that is necessary, an appreciation of the abundance that is already present in our lives. And consciously or unconsciously, the making of art is an act of gratitude. Taking from his community, country and imagination, the artist gives it all back in song and dance, stone and rhyme, in canvas and paper. Through his work, the artist celebrates, pays tribute and expresses his gratitude for life.
Bravery, heroism, boldness; ability to disregard fear
Creating a work of art is an act of courage. In exploring new vocabularies, digging deep into the collective psyche, or uncovering new ways of approaching tradition and life, all forms of art-making demonstrate the mental and moral strength needed to persevere to create something which had not formerly existed before.
Tranquility, quiet; mutual harmony
Music has the ability to generate a sense of release and relaxation as well as bring people together, regardless of differences. In the individual with an open heart and mind, music can encourage a quiet attention, an awareness of the self and its place in the world, a reaching within and beyond the self to embrace humanity and all life.
Belief or full conviction without proof
Across continents and cultures, worship has almost always been accompanied by music. Meditative or passionate, improvised or notated, it holds truths and realities different from that of daily life. It goes beyond entertainment into the private realms of our hopes and fears, into the secret heart of our prayers, and takes us by the hand as we leap into the realm of faith.
Veracity, authenticity, in accord with fact or reality
Through the ages, the quest for truth has been an obsession particular to mankind. Yet today, even after the many discoveries of science, the Truth in all aspects of our lives, continues to elude us, slipping out of our grasp even as we gain new insights and learn new facts about the universe we live in. What matters is that we continue to pursue the truth or truths in all our undertakings.
Merriment, pleasure, mirth
Play is one of the most natural and instinctive things we do as animals, and helps keep us happy, healthy and sane as human beings. And one form of play is art. Structured or spontaneous, subversive or exploratory, absurd or joyful, art in its many forms provides infinite possibilities for creative expression and pleasure.
Conviction, assurance, confident expectation
All artistic creation is founded on trust. Between the artist and his collaborators who help bring the work to fruition, between the multiple individuals who are involved in the cycle of engagement and manifestation, trust forms a vital part of the nexus of human relationships. Beyond the creation, there must be trust between artist and audience, between artists and institutions. Just as the artist believes that the audience will trust in the integrity of his work, the audience expects that the work will be authentic and true.
Fellowship, mutual affection, alliance
Man is by nature a social creature, for whom friendship is necessary for happiness. Through shared experiences of music, dance and theatre, connections are made that can lead to deepening of friendships. Friendships contribute to our social identity and through friendship, we find affirmation in our sense of self. In friendship, we fulfill our ability to love and our need to be loved.
Concord, agreement, rapport
Harmony is a relationship between two or more sources or elements, a relationship that brings about balance and enhances the value of each in the relationship. Meaningful art is brought about through the collective relationship between multiple elements. And the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, achieving a sense of beauty which each element in itself could never have done.
Poise, refinement, courteous goodwill
A lithe suppleness, a thoughtful courtesy, a blessing, a refined dignity, mercy – grace is the pleasing result of harmony between heart and action, mind and body, the human and the divine. It is the sum of all parts in perfect accord and balance. And art makes possible the expression of grace – in the harmonious composition of painting, in the poetry of a text, in the soothing notes of music and in the movements of a dancer. Art itself is grace, for it is a blessing bestowed on the audience by the artist, who has toiled that he might bring together body, mind and spirit to deeply engage and create a work of goodness, truth and beauty.
Residence, a place of rest and care
Home is the place where we were born and raised, nurtured and educated before we went to school. Home is the refuge we retreat to with confidence that we will be comfortable, safe and secure, a space to rest. Home is where we draw our first sense of ourselves, of who we are and our place in the world. Art reminds us of our personal and collective histories, of who we are and where we came from, and connects us with ourselves and our community. Our art helps us find our place, and make our home.
Desire, wish, cause for optimism
Hope entails the belief that possibilities exist and that things will be better; it sustains us through our darkest times and is essential to our will and desire. It comforts us and stirs us to positive action, and amid challenges, it keeps us going. And art-making is founded on hope, that there can be sense, that there can be reconciliation, connection and meaning, that through it all, there can be triumph.
Act of assisting another
All works of art are acts of service. In creating their art, artists hope to provoke thought and thoughtfulness, offering different perspectives even as they challenge current norms, sparking debate and spurring us towards a better world. And arts institutions facilitate this process, helping artists to create work and thereafter, creating the frames through which communication between artists and audiences can take place. Through this shared experience is born a community.
Intense desire or feeling
Of all our emotions, love has perhaps received the greatest attention. At one level primitive, mysterious and intense, at another, it moves individuals and whole communities to heights of divine ecstasy. In whatever form it takes, whether maternal or fraternal, romantic or compassionate, love in its most fundamental aspect reminds us that we cannot be alone, that we can be who we are, and celebrate life in all its glory, only when we are in a relationship with an other.
Admiration, regard, deferential esteem
In offering different perspectives while inviting us to constructively engage with the world around us, the arts has the ability to move us to understand and fully appreciate others, especially those who are different from us, whether of a different time or place. We take them seriously and acknowledge their value. And at the most fundamental level, we may come to understand that in respecting someone, we honour a person not so much for what he has done but rather we respect the intrinsic worth and dignity of that person, that he is here.
Ardour, zeal, strong enthusiasm
A feeling that drives and burns, characterised by intensity and fervor, the word has its origins in the Latin “patior” which means to “suffer or endure”. It is passion that makes great art great, giving it colour, authenticity and integrity. It has given the world its greatest human creations and animates it with human vitality. When combined with reason, goodwill, direction and discipline, it leads to positive action. And in its all-consuming fire, the self is annihilated and one becomes part of an all-embracing life.