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Release the Art in you


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Release the Art in you

Art is very powerful and deeply communal. It does not only express the heart of the artist, it also expresses the mind of the community and various experiences that formed the artist’s heart. It not only tells the story of the present, but it is also a bridge between the stories of the past and a shaper of the stories of the future.

In the African context, art was used for telling stories, keeping records, storing ancient knowledge, teaching, and transmitting spiritual codes from masters to students and it also represented, symbolically, the various aspects of divinity. This means that when African communities ask for the return of the artifacts that were stolen by foreign powers when they came to Africa, it’s not just the carved head of a man that you see in their museums or the bronze sword in the hands of private collectors, it is the African story, spirituality, knowledge codes and various other systems of knowing which are hidden in that art, that is being asked for.

Art comes to us all in different forms. To some people, art is painting or anything that has to do with paints or colors. To some, art is photography, sculpting, poetry, music, and videography. But to some, art is the ability to listen to nature, understand what they hear, and also be able to create concepts or ideologies out of them. But there is a major art that we have somehow set aside or left in the hands of a few, primarily because of the microwave lifestyle of modernity that we have largely embraced. I speak of the art of cooking. Those involved in the art of cooking will tell you that cooking is not just about throwing ingredients into a pot of boiling oil or water. It is an art that uses a good amount of time and every sense in the artist. It is about smell, colors, sight, feeling, taste, sound, and even health. People no longer pay attention to the art of cooking because they can just buy their daily dose of junk in a fast food joint.

But one thing remains the common denominator between all forms of art, it always boils down to what you can see, feel, hear, smell, touch, and even think. Yes, what you think may take its form from what you see, smell, touch, or feel, but there is also the possibility of creating art from that which is not seen, heard, smelled, or felt.

I love the photography mode of art and I have tried to improve on what I do with my camera over the past couple of years but I think mastery of photography for me, is still a bit far away.

In photography, just like in other media of art, the artist really is the channel through which attention is given to things that would otherwise stay hidden from the eye that is not seeking them out. And that’s the beauty of art. It takes what is hidden and brings it into sight. It gives identity to that which would have remained hidden.

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The point of this article is, that within every one of us is a painting, a photo, a music, a cuisine, a song or anything that can be called ART, even though everything we see, in the long run, is ART. And we need to let that ART OUT! Yeah! Let the ART OUT!! And often, it does not take so much to bring forth the art that is within.

As a photographer, you don’t really have to be in the most expensive exotic places in the world to take photos. Your immediate environment can do the magic. That all the images featured in this article were taken by me around my immediate environment is proof that one does not have to go too far to express the image on the inside. And same applies to every other form of art. We just need to let out the art.

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