Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is Beauty?

Three Squares collage using non-toxic, unscented Gorilla Glue
Coleen Furlotte's documentary, "A Question of Beauty", was shown for a packed group last night at the Aberdeen Cultural Center. The film explores our view of beauty and the main point developed was about the pressure women feel to fit an ideal. You can see clips and photos here.

 "Beauty does not create love. Love creates beauty." Furlotte

In the film Furlotte asked a question about artists that I'd like to open up. She said that artists are often able to see beauty where others don't. Why is that? Since that wasn't the theme of the film, it wasn't answered. I'd like to propose one possible answer.

Dr. Elaine Aron is widely published in academic journals on the subject of Sensory Processing Sensitivity. An SPS person is more aware of subtleties because of the way their brain processes information. They love to think deeply. About 20% of the population has this attribute, many of the group being artists. The trait is also found in animals and works as a natural system to alert the tribe of dangers, evaluating risk, and being "observant before acting." In the past SPS's were used as counsellors, spiritual leaders and seers to the ruling warrior type classes.

Perhaps one reason artists see beauty where others don't is because many have brains that are geared differently. This way of processing stimuli has a great deal of advantages as Dr. Aron brings out in her book. Do you have SPS or does your child? You can take her Highly Sensitive Person quiz to find out.


picciolo said...

what an interesting post, I'm going to check out that test!
: )

ArtPropelled said...

I read Elaine Aron's book about a year ago. It is rather enlightening. I think one can also learn to see beauty. Writers and artists look for beauty or important details until it becomes a habit. I like the three squares. Wish I could see closer.

Shayla said...

Jane, thanks for letting me know :) glad you liked it.

Robyn, how exciting that you've read the book. I'm reading it right now and it's a life changing read for me. Yes,that's a good point. Artists train themselves to see beauty. It is a skill that must be developed.

layers said...

I do think that artists are more observant and more sensitive to their environment- the discussion of 'waht is beauty' is always interesting

DJ said...

Gee, I scored a 25.
I'm surprised; didn't realize I was experiencing that many traits until they were listed together.

Thanks for sharing your beauty through your art, Shayla...

Shayla said...

Donna, I agree. Most of the artists I know are that way.

DJ, cool! Thanks for sharing. I bet you're an awesome teacher. Hsp's are well suited for that.