The world of visual arts is a mystical one in which you can get lost in translation. But as a human species we are designed to be captivated by visually appealing matter. And this captivation gives us the ability to be curious enough to unpack all the imagery. A line, a colour, a shape in combination with another has the ability to shake perceptions. If art was there for us to keep actively sane during times of trial this year. A pandemic that has caused our lifestyles to stasis has only enhanced our abilities to see beyond, then this pandemic caused our lifestyles to stasis only to enhance our abilities to see beyond. Think about that for a second, and imagine a world without visual arts.
So, what does that say about how we perceive abstract art and how it can change the world? Everything.
Beyond the Gestalt
It is part of Gestalt theory that the mind informs what the eyes can see. From elementary ages, we start to develop the sensory connections that have us register what is right in front of us. Basic images such as an apple, a camera, a violin, a dress. When you’re engaging in abstract art, your mind widens its capacity even further, as it is perceiving the meta-normative. For example, René Magritte’s ‘The Treachery of Images’ – ‘this is not a pipe’ painting – may have used words, but the meaning would not have materialized without the image.
Karen Usborne expresses this widening of the mind of her abstract expressionism as ‘decisions of man [being] interior and mostly beyond awareness.’ Her abstract art is constantly calling out the deeper Freudian experiences for us to confront, and ultimately to bettering perceptons and ourselves. Karen’s “Gravity” exhibition shows her fascination for contrasts – black vs. white, light vs. dark. What you realise is that contrasts ultimately not only co-exist, but work together to create a single entity.
By expanding the mind into the meta-normative, it stretches beyond the everyday imagery to imagine greater things. This stretched capacity can benefit the application of the mind to many practices outside of art.
Not only is the observation of art important, but the ability to exercise it practically. The mere engagement with visual stimulus gives us a sense of power. As your hand guides the process, you start to get sense of what it is like to control the very things that people see every day. It is no wonder you develop a resilience in art – there is a sense of resilience that awakens. And it is no wonder that with this continuous practice and experience, Karen has the wisdom to keep your senses grasped with her fascination for geometry and contrasts.
Karen Usborne, Activism and Great Abstract Art
There’s an activism that can arise within the arts that is more powerful than the lonely spoken fact. The ‘fearless girl’ statue speaks womens and girls’ empowerment without words. The way that art can bend reality, can stretch your mind to think further to better futures. Karen Usborne’s ‘Nature’ exhibition shows an appreciation for nature that is much needed in today’s world. She bends the reality of this subject matter as she places something so natural in an abstract context. At the same time, this displays how two contrasting components can work together to create a beautiful end result.
One has the power to change people’s opinions through art. And even more so through abstract art. The abstract art of Karen Usborne carries and confronts the weight and the wonders of our most inner thoughts through carefully curated geometry and colour. Take a look at her works on her website and see how you can stretch your mind beyond!