Create Art “Just Because”

We had our school Art Show during the week and I popped in to view the HSC (Higher School Certificate) Major Works.

There was a wonderful array of art utilising a variety of media from painting, photography, mixed media, sculpture, installation and pencil.

Accompanying each body of Major Work was a brief statement by the artist, explaining the purpose and intention behind the piece. Some statements were fluid pieces of prose, capturing the essence and beauty of the work in a brief paragraph.

And then there was one statement that struck me. 

The statement did not explain or describe the artwork. The artist put forward the idea that the expression in the art work was an expression of what was in his head. It was the equivalent of shrugging one’s shoulders and saying, “Just because.”

And I love that idea. 

Sometimes we want to explain our idea, describe the beauty of our creative work, wax lyrical on the deconstructivist, post-modern interpretation of Freud’s analysis in the subliminal metaphors of our work.

Our words, pictures, music, film or art does not always require an explanation or a reason for being. We do it for no deep philosophical reason or existential afterthought.

Sometimes, we created a piece of art, “Just because.”


8 responses to “Create Art “Just Because”

  1. It takes balls (in my opinion) to write something like that as a 17 or 18 year old. It’s like saying I don’t need your affirmation, or my own affirmation, my art speaks for itself.

    I noted with “Nothing New To Begin” how every reader bought something entirely unique to their interpretation of the story. As such, it will probably be one of those stories I’ll never really talk about the hows and whys. I was compelled to write it after hearing the Colin Hays song… and it is what it is. To say otherwise would warp with others engagement with it.

    And perhaps that’s what “just because” is… and invitation to be with the work, experience and engage with it on your terms, not the artist’s?

    • Very post modern. I like to know the artist’s intentions (although not always possible), but first enjoyment is with the individual.

  2. Hi there Adam — I do think that there is a (presumably) modern trend to append a layer of artist interpretation to artwork and then promote that, almost as its own creative work. Something that’s no doubt filtering down into education. Good that somebody decided to express what was (really) uniquely going on for them, in the face of a prescribed format. Interpretation is fine, but if it becomes a crutch for telling why the art work is good rather than showing it (Art is generally visual, after all), then flowery intentions are kind of annoying. Those notes can feel like an exercise in marketing and associative thought rather than an insight into artistic excellence. If extra notes are truly *needed* has the artist succeeded? it would be like adding an extra page for every paragraph in a novel, where the writer says what they *really* mean, because obviously you didn’t get it. Hmmm… St.

    • I understand what you’re saying, in that if great art needs explanation, it’s probably overkill. The point I was trying to make was that creativity (in art, music or writing) does not always need an explanation, nor should it.
      On the other hand, I like to know some of the history or intention behind the art (in whatever medium) can give the viewer/reader/listener another level of insight.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. I love that. Art, beauty. It is good for the soul. No need to have a reason.

  4. Pingback: Reflection – Why Did You Stop Being Creative? | A Fullness in Brevity – Adam Byatt

  5. Pingback: Starting the Creative Life Afresh -

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