Hello and welcome, you join me now for the second instalment of Mouthing Off magazine’s ‘Music of the Month’ – and this month we are celebrating all things art! Throughout our ‘Artist’s Fortnight’ we have been driving creative discourse, championing our superb team of artists, and hosting more opportunities than ever for you to publicize your thoughts and opinions – including a poetry competition! So, in the spirit of ‘Artist’s Fortnight’, we have put together ‘A Playlist for Painters’ for May’s ‘Music of the Month’. So get ready for a rousing 1 hour and 39 minutes of musical treats including songs from favourites such as; David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Nat King Cole – amongst many others – that all, in one way or another, pay homage to the art of painting, a well-known artist or a famous work of art.
Normally, I would use this article to dissect the selection of songs and artists in the featured playlist, but this month, and again, in the light of our ‘Artist’s Fortnight’, I will be discussing the importance of art and music and the relationship between the two. I’m sure most of you have heard of a majority of the artists and recognise many famous artwork references from this month’s playlist anyway…
Art – including music amongst other things such as theater, poetry and dance – is great, essential even, for a multitude of reasons; for mental health, for creativity, and for knowledge, to name a few. And where art lends itself to the human condition, it stimulates growth, it drives progress – in fact the two are playfully intertwined, at times art pushing human progress and at times progress leading art. The necessity of art in the modern world is undeniable.
For most, our first taste of the arts comes during school, splashing paint in art, stabbing at the keys of a keyboard in music, awkwardly acting in a drama class maybe, or perhaps just doodling in the margins of your sheet of lined paper in a boring class. Whilst, when we are first subjected to it, we do not always immediately find its pleasures, most will discover its fruitfulness by their early adulthood. For some, this may come from finding comfort or familiarity in a work – something that; reminds us of something we once enjoyed, sparked our curiosity or creates the feeling of security. For others, this may come through the practice of art, the confidence it can instill when we get that brush stroke just right or nail each note of that tantalizing guitar riff. But also, it teaches us to be persistent and open-minded through trying news things, new techniques, and pushing on when it doesn’t immediately work – the discipline in art is at least as prevailing as any other subject.
But persistence and open-mindedness are not all it teaches us – it teaches us to explore, to be playful with our thoughts and ideas, to push boundaries. Our creativity and willingness to experiment with ideas both benefit from being around art. Through observing our own and other artists work, we practice critical thinking and analysis, which exercises our logical, reasoning and problem-solving skills too. Pre-digital age, before the all-knowing, all-powerful Google search engine and YouTube tutorials, the reliance on learning through the arts was far more significant.
Where most of the things I’ve touched upon discuss what art can teach, or bring out of us, many would argue that it can teach us even more about our history. In fact, art itself is one of our most accurate records of our history. The grandiose portraits of kings and queens, the renaissance paintings capturing violent or godly scenes – albeit some more fictitious than others – not only appeal to our need for beauty but entertainment too. It documents our evolution as a species, the variety of our cultures and the dreams and expectations of our ancestors.
I doubt I have had to convince you of the importance and enjoyment to be had in indulging in art and music but I hope this month’s playlist and all the discourse and media of ‘Artist’s Fortnight’ has been both entertaining and thought-provoking. Do take some time to check out the work of the great artists and writers here at Mouthing Off and keep an eye out for exciting, new music content in the future!
Farewell for now.