By Rebecca Davis
I was sprawled out on my couch on Sunday night. Remote in hand, and not afraid to use it, I was holding on to the last remaining threads of the weekend.
This is the procrastination routine in which I engage on a nightly basis, before finally succumbing to the practicalities of life. Sleep; in preparation for the burgeoning day.
Because you need eight hours, we are told.
Because you need to rest, we are told.
Because that is what humans do at night, we are told.
Somewhere between an episode of Cops, circa 1995, and an overacted American forensic show, I landed at a doco (thanks SBS). A tribute to Robin Williams. I watched on. I laughed. I was in awe. I was mesmerised. We know that Robin Williams was gifted with a talent, so immense, and with an electric wit which moved at the speed of light. But his humour, and his ability to touch others with it, was true art.
To be moved by art. What does that really mean?
We live in a world where it is all too easy be consumed by the consumables. Fast spending, fast relationships and fast wi-fi dominate our existences. Trapped in the voracious whirlwind of instant gratification, we sometimes forget to open our eyes beyond our Facebook feed, and WhatsApp notifications. We forget to see the simple beauty in our surroundings. A moment of laughter between friends. Buds on the cusp of blossom eruption. Shards of sunlight peeking through dark clouds on a winter’s afternoon. These sights, so often and so eloquently captured by art, are bottled infinitively, and they stay with us; loitering and lingering in our subconscious for as long as we desire.
The violins were playing and although my ponderings had taken me far from my suburban lounge room, my wandering mind had returned to see a commercial. Featuring the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, it was accompanied by some very familiar images...
Hang on. They. Look. Like. I mean. They ARE.
My eyes were still transfixed on the screen, as the rest of me jumped off the couch. Bearing witness to my boss’s striking representations of a two week journey across Europe with these elite musicians, left me proud. Jubilant. And consumed with admiration.
My unfinished stream of consciousness collided with Matt’s flickering images before me. The photographs encapsulated his intuitive ability to deconstruct the nuances between performer and performance to reveal the soul of an orchestra, and the individuals that fill it. He had found the ‘real’, the very beautiful, the simple everyday moments, and captured them within his camera lens.
A true artist is perceptive: macerating oneself in the ocean of life that the rest of us merely sail upon. They interpret all that they absorb, and express these experiences through their chosen art form. It is a poignant and often confronting reflection of ourselves, and the society in which we live. Art forces us to stop for a moment, to face the mirror that the artist holds up to show us.
When we stare at the sun, our vision is flooded by colour: a kaleidoscope of the sharp and shiny. To refocus, we must look away. But when we finally coax our eyelids open, we are faced with the most brilliant and renewed clarity. It is the reality of our surroundings. The stuff that had been there all along, but had been blurred to the background by the inconsequential clutter with which we choose to fill our days.
Perhaps it was Matt’s evocative photography interwoven in this portrait of a great man plagued by unrelenting comedic talent, but as the clock ticked into the early hours of Monday morning, I winced and saw what truly was before me. It was a collision of comedy and concertos, photography and film; it was brilliant and renewed clarity.
I had been moved by art.
To view the commercial, click here