It is a simple question, but at any given time all creative persons have struggled with this basic query: Why do I do what I do? Society might say that what we do as writers, dancers, musicians, and visual artists is frivolous and nonessential. But on a primal, intrinsic level we shapers of the world know that this is not the case. Art is essential, vital, even revelatory. This is especially the case when the artist is concerned with the spiritual in life. Anish Kapoor, one of contemporary sculpture’s global icons, recognizes the power of sounding the depths of the mystery of existence. He states that the…”truly mysterious implies that there is something else going on — it’s a matter of meaning.” That search for meaning has occupied human consciousness for millennia. The search for the sublime, which can be easily found in the work of Kapoor, is ultimately tied to an artist’s worldview, which simultaneously forms and is formed by our understanding of existence. For artists of faith, worldview plays an especially essential role, because it becomes the apologetic by which we answer the question: Why create? My point of view when entering this discussion is that of a follower of Christ and a visual artist. What follows is an exploration of my developing worldview, but I encourage this exploration by anyone in any faith. In sharing, I hope to foster understanding in those within and without my particular belief system. My worldview, when applied specifically to the visual arts and to all creative acts in general, provides a lens by which I view both that which I create and that which is created in the world around me. An exploration of Christian worldview begins to provide an answer to the question “Why Create?” In discussing worldview and how it affects my approach to the “why” of creating, I find it helpful to establish a common frame of reference for those who share my faith. I do this by setting one of the fundamental statements of our Christian faith as my point of departure — The Apostles' Creed. For those not familiar with The Apostles' Creed, its text confirms the Trinity, the incarnate Christ’s acts of redemption and the new covenant manifestations of church, the communion of the saints, forgiveness, bodily resurrection, and life everlasting. When contemplating Christ’s acts of redemption from the standpoint of one who works in reshaping the physical world, certain beliefs reveal their importance to the area of visual art. Christ came to matter [the physical world] as matter [in bodily form] to redeem the physical and the material as part of the wholeness of creation. Matter matters to God as is evidenced in the belief that he will create a new Earth and we will be resurrected into new bodies. Christ, through grace, intercedes for us and makes perfect to God our imperfect material and immaterial offerings. All of these offerings, creations, actions, and thoughts are brought to the Father and perfected through Christ. But God doesn’t just value the material, he also mandates and blesses human creativity. The account of Adam naming the animals in Genesis 2 relates how God actively brought the animals before Adam to name. Gifting this task to Adam demonstrates God’s mandate for man to be creative. Importantly, God accepts the names that Adam provides. He doesn’t alter the names or say, “Well, that was nice, Adam, but I think we’ll go in a different direction.” In this act of acceptance God renders his blessing upon human creativity to act with individual particularization in reshaping the created world. So, why do I create? I create because I believe I was created to create. I create, because the God I believe in and worship desires for me to create, and he accepts and [I believe] shares in the joy of my creativity. So, why do you create? _________  David Anfam, Anish Kapoor, Johanna Burton, Richard Deacon, and Donna M. Salvo. Anish Kapoor. Repr. ed. (London ; New York: Phaidon, 2010), 91. Featured Visual Art from Ruminate's Issue 21: Grief - Morning at Bethel. Joel Sheesley.
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