October 25 is International Artists Day, and the perfect opportunity to celebrate the creative world we live in, and to ask ourselves where we might be without art?
For Creative Future, artists represent a way to explore and document everything important about the human condition – from emotions, to identity, to addressing inequality. Without support on a grassroots level, how many of these artists would be unable engage in bigger battles? From the geopolitical climate to the world’s environmental decline just how would we voice dissent without artists?
Flowers of Romance: Creative Future Online Shop artist Paul Bellingham
Art, but not necessarily the means to produce it or have it seen, is a level playing field where humans with differences whether through social or life circumstance, neurodiversity, disability, ethnicity, or sexuality can find value and place. When Steve Edge visited Creative Future last month he spoke of how his dyslexia may have given him a competitive advantage in the world of design. Would he have forged a successful career without this?
It seems modern art and identity have become more and more inextricably intertwined, from Gilbert & George living as human sculpture to aesthetically pleasing prosthetics; without art would how would we explore the human in a technology-led world? And how would you make it fun? Whether you view art “appropriation” as a modernist tradition or a symptom of capitalism, a world where Banksy is unable to appropriate his own work is a boring place.
There is little ambiguity about the impact and value of art in our culture. The evidence of its impact on our health continues to roll in. 66% of the 1,000 GPs surveyed in a recent survey agreed that public engagement with the arts can contribute to preventing ill health and 44% that arts-based interventions can be a cost-effective form of social prescribing. There is evidence art can reduce anything from PTSD symptoms to chronic pain.
The 400+ people represented in our online gallery and the many more that have attended our free drop-in creative classes over the years, have skills ranging from developing to accomplished, in anything from digital wizardry and photorealism to impressionist painting. Some have mastered intricate textiles, others conceptualism, use of symbolism or negative space.
Ria’s Painting: ‘Caged’ by Creative Future Online Shop artist Kim Noble
For Creative Future, working with these artists at various stages of their development is always about an inroad to wider conversation about a representative cultural landscape. Through creating, our artists are living activists, giving voice to the human condition, representing it exactly as it is or projecting how they would like it be. Their art does not apologise nor shy away from the realities of living in hostile environments, internal or external.
Without the courage, tenacity, and grit of artists everywhere, we may never know these realities or be able to improve them.
International Artists Day takes place on 25 October 2018