6 reasons why art does us good
Leo Tolstoy defined art as “…the activity by which a person, having experienced an emotion, intentionally transmits it to others”. While some take little interest in the intermingling of creativity and aesthetic objects, art has been present in human civilizations for more than 30,000 years. Recent scientific research shows us that this is not by chance – art does us good! KAZoART invites you to explore the links between art and well-being.
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1. Why art does us good: it makes us fall in love!
Neuroscientists asked the question: what occurs inside our brains when we look at a work of art?
The response is astonishing! Our brain secretes dopamine, the pleasure hormone. It is released when we listen to music we enjoy, taste delicious food, or see someone we love. This study was conducted by neurobiologists in London in 2012. It used volunteers who sat down and examined masterpieces. The results demonstrate how irrefutably art can stimulate our emotions.
2. Art connects us to one another
Art should be experienced together. Viewing an artwork and then discussing it with your friends or others at an exhibition is an excellent way to bring people together while also allowing for multiple interpretations of the same work. In its essentiality, an artwork does not have to be loved, but it should be able to evoke authentic emotions within its viewers. Whether these emotions be love, hate or indifference, there needs to be a feeling. The word “aesthetic” from the Greek aïsthésis means “sensation”.
Being able to compare our feelings with those of others allows us to better identify with our individual character. We can also affirm our personality through the unique emotions we experience.
It gives us the opportunity to find points of commonalities with those whose tastes and emotions match our own and with whom we feel strong affinities.
3. Art balances us
In 300 B.C the Greek philosopher Aristotle understood that art is a social matter. He thus advocated theatrical representation in order to provoke a “purge of passions” in the public. This is called “catharsis”.
The idea is to allow spectators to experience strong emotions through a performance. The theatre therefore has the regenerative function of cleaning up our emotional sphere and creating a healthy bridge between the ordinary emotions of the audience and the extraordinary emotions of the theatre characters.
Freud saw art as an outlet. For the spectator, it represents a deliverance that allows him to escape from reality in order to taste the dreams of others and to interpret the works in his own way.
4. Art gives way to empathy
Our empathy manifests itself when we automatically smile in front of a hilarious face on a movie screen, when we stop breathing at the same time as the actor who is choking on stage or when our foot moves itself to the rhythm of background music.
It is then our “mirror neurons” that are activated in this process.
5. Art lets us explore our brains
There is one type of art in particular that motivates our brains. Multiple scientific studies shows that we are mostly attracted to abstract art.
Indeed, Abstract Art frees our brain from reality, allowing it to circulate within itself, to create new emotional and cognitive associations, and to activate states that are much more difficult to access.
This process is beneficial as it allows for the exploration of parts of the brain that were previously unknown.
6. Art develops our intellectual capacities
Using an MRI, researchers were able to list eight aspects of children’s brain development that are optimized by the practice of art:
- attention span
- ability to differentiate
- geometric representation
- playback and sequencing
- open mindedness and tolerance
In other words, creating, participating in or viewing art of any form is highly beneficial to us and therefore those around us!
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