One of my favourite past times is, undoubtedly, ambling in a gallery space with those I love and talking art.
From The National Gallery to The Tate Britain, there is a plethora of enchanting pieces that one can look at for hours. The magnetism of masterpieces crafted with diligence, patience, care: any artist will know how much effort, love and attention one should exude from themselves in order to create.
Art is Godly. The maker can mould a world of their choice, driven by their consciousness and actualised into reality. What a gift to make! To create!
The Ancient Greek word ‘poesis’ sums this up perfectly. Translated into English, ‘poesis’ essentially means: ‘the act of bringing into life something that never existed before.’ What wonder there is in being able to bring into existence a whole new world; a whole new way of imagining our reality.
The respect I have for artists, whether they be sculptors or painters, photographers or writers, is unwavering. To make art is to unleash your soul into a vulnerable realm, and it takes the bravest people to do so.
Having gone to the Tate Britain with my incredible friend Mirren Kessling, an uber talented artist and lover of all things Pope Joan, I took some photos of my favourite pieces:
These enchanting oil paintings by Frederick Cayley Robinson and Edward Stott so marvellously capture the essence of a summer eve that one is transported to a place of tranquillity; a nostalgia evening sent breathing in the crisp, sun-bathed smell of dew and lounging in the caress of peach sun-rays.
Art has the power to remove us from our reality. No longer did the echoes of muttering children nor the brush of artists copying paintings ring in my ear. What I heard was the sheep gliding their tongues on the lake, the clink of the lantern as the female placed it down, the hooves of the cows slowly passing along the grass, the birds chirping in the trees.
Art is paradise.
How bitter and angry I was, then, when I heard that radical, liberal feminists, being what they are, a nuisance, had encouraged a Manchester Art Gallery to take down a painting by John William Waterhouse: Hylas and the Nymphs, pictured below.
Are we living in the Nazi era?! When art was taken down for not appertaining to an ideology? When books were burned for not being born of the ‘Aryan’ race?
What of Maoism? Are we all supposed to be stripped of our identity, our desire to delve into the realm of fantasy, and rid ourselves of individaulity?
All this screams to me is far-left terror.
The reasoning for the painting being taken down is that, through the eyes of ‘feminists’ who want to ‘give power to ‘women” (urm…I’m a woman and you are doing nothing to help me – thanks!), this speaks of objectification.
Hey. I agree. It does. Why don’t we take down all the Roman sculptor’s of men too?! How about Michalangelo’s ‘David’? It makes men feel incredibly insecure, you know, looking at that toned body and, hey, as a woman it makes me feel uncomfortable because it reminds me of that time a topless man came over to me in a club and flirted with me.
While we are at it let’s get rid of all art that objectifies people.
WAIT A MINUTE?! THAT’S WHAT ART IS! AN OBJECT!
An object to be interpreted, to transport us into another realm. When I look at Waterhouse’s painting I see the act of bringing to life (poesis) a Greek myth. That was what Waterhouse focused his creative energy on, interpreting Greek myth with his skill in painting.
Perhaps feminists are too ignorant to take time to notice the context.
If anything, the women in this painting are empowered.
The story of Hylas is that he was enamoured by their beauty and abducted into the watery realm where Hylas and the nymphs fell in love (in other adaptions they steal him away without any reference to Hylas’ consent).
So, how is this objectifying women? The context of the myth, of the painting, is power.
Secondly, I think feminists are objectifying women by saying this is objectification in the first place.
Why is it that women with their breasts on show looking serene in the water is offensive? I think they look beautiful, womanly, and damn good. The male is surrounded by these nymphs. In the painting you cannot even see his face, and, additionally, the nymphs are the ones seducing him! Notice how the nymph in the centre of the painting is clinging on to his arm?
I’ve got a good idea. Why not go back in time to Ancient Greece and tell the citizens to stop coming up with wonderful stories of myth and legend so that, when artists interpret them, you won’t be offended?
I am so angry at this. I am so angry that ‘feminists’ think they have the right to devoid people of sharing in a masterpiece that is amalgamated with so many golden threads of our history: from Greek Myth through to Romanticism (Waterhouse’s era) to now.
How dare you deny me my right, as a woman, to marvel at this painting.
And so I finish with questions that perhaps I can get answers to, or perhaps are as useless as shouting to a void.
What is wrong with this painting?
Why can I no longer go and see it in a gallery?
And why are these ‘feminists’ becoming some form of Nazi by stripping us of the right to enjoy the wonders of art and the magic of human fantasy?