29 Jul Art & Beauty
The idea of ‘beauty’, and even just the word beauty, has a historical gravitas that has led thinkers and artists alike to embrace, criticise, evolve and find refuge in its meaning.
Mr. Robert Kennedy, founder of the Kennedy Arts Foundation, set the theme for the Kennedy Prize as beauty when considering that,
“… as Paul Virilio observed, 20th century art reflected war, and I believe 21st century art deserves the reflection of beauty.”
Virilio’s sentiment expressed in ‘Art & Fear’ – how modern art reflected the fear in war – was embodied and transformed in his photographic series on bunkers. He found beauty in their sculptural form separate from the fear fostering use that they were built for.
Follow Kennedy Prize’s board Our theme “Beauty” on Pinterest.
Paul Virilio, 1958, The frightening beauty of the bunker
Contemporary art, in some of its corners, has artists working in the same way as Virilio and it can be argued that the act of a person using their time and focus to create art is in itself a cause of beauty against a fear filled environment.
Our fortunate Australian souls have avoided direct contact with war on this soil, yet our minds and hearts are being affected by international upheaval with more immediacy than ever before. It doesn’t need explaining that the instant dissemination of information is the daily experience for all of us, and that it effects us.
So it is with extra conviction that the Kennedy Arts Foundation is proud to be fostering the expression and exhibition of beauty. Any artist able to enter our prize because their work speaks of and to beauty is already a part of the social soul balm needed to keep us all functioning at our best.
The Australia Council for the Arts has recently been circulating survey results of how Australians rate and appreciate art showing us plainly that we as people consider art and culture integral to our social well being.
We at Kennedy Prize are also appreciative of those artists who have already entered the Kennedy Prize, the time they have put into completing their application and taking that leap to put out publicly the beauty they create personally.