Nature heals and so does Art

”Artists are cultural healers” the beloved author of “The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron, writes.

I believe this to be Truth.

If Nature is the no. 1 healer then Art comes second. And while it may be true that the best things in life are free, the crux of the matter with art is that it’s created by human beings: people with basic human needs like everybody else.

If there’s one thing I wish would change in the way society, in general, view culture or artistic expression, it is how art, even if somewhat supported and certainly cherished, still isn’t seen as absolutely vital to the well-being and thriving of human beings. Because it really is.

Exposure to wonderful music and art is easy, fast and often totally free for anyone with an internet connection. And that it is so, is, these days, taken for granted while supporting struggling artists in no way is prioritized like, e.g. using billions on doctors, hospitals and psychiatrists in the healthcare industry. I, of course, don’t suggest downsizing or neglecting the medical field, only wish to bring awareness to the fact that art should be seen as being a part of healthcare and, particularly, illness prevention, and as such, of no less importance.

In my opinion, society needs a mindset shift on this. Art is not merely a snack to munch on, a bonus third course like dessert or cake (or just the icing on it); nice enough and yummy for sure, but not essential to our survival, even if this is mostly how it is viewed.

No, art is profound soul food with the potential to nourish, heal, uplift and enlighten: as essential to the human psyche and spirit as food is to the human body. And as such it should be venerated, acknowledged and supported more and artists appreciated more – monetarily, too.

Where would humanity be without artistic expression: both as creators as well as receivers?

What would happen, I wonder, if artists and creatives stopped giving away their artwork for free or for scraps, or even creating altogether: can you imagine a world without music and art?

An unbearable bleak scenario and a much colder one, for sure…

Beautiful murals created by international artists adorn many a gable in Aalborg

Yet, art & music classes don’t rank high on most educational systems’ list of priorities, these days, but are often taken off the schedule, especially when it comes to teens.

I’ve been watching the super inspiring Swedish Tv-series ”Den Blomstertid” this spring on SVT (the title references an old hymn celebrating blooming summer) about introducing song, dance and music-making to a bunch of 13 to 15-year-old school kids with kind help of playful, enthusiastic and encouraging Swedish artists: ”Tusse” & Linnea Henriksson. How creating various bands, letting them meet professional musicians and tutoring them improve these fine young people’s class participation, mental health and emotional well-being, not to mention their overall sense of community and joy about school life (AND grades, by the way…).

I so adore this TV series, the message it sends and important point it proves: how well it shows the benefits of musical expression.

A link to it (it’s sadly without English subtitles, though): https://www.svtplay.se/den-blomstertid

The lovely youth, of which some are clearly sensitive and/or introverted while others have certain mental or social challenges, truly grow and bloom during those three months. The transformation they go through until the grand finale, a spring concert, is so heartwarming to see:)

Quote from teachers at the school: “To be seen and taken seriously by kind, clever, committed and encouraging adults, acknowledging them for who they are, has had a genuine impact on these children.”

As often, when something resonates, I get a little obsessed: I’ve seen it multiple times!

If only every school would let music and art play a much bigger part.

P.S. The third and likely last book in my book series “Becoming Maria” is slowly but surely coming together. I’m hoping for a release some time, next year. More on that later:)

About Mona

Author, artist & blogger
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