Since the time man learnt to walk on his two legs, his mind and soul have been greatly influenced and moulded by the world around him, the world he lives in, a world the beauty of which has never ceased to amaze him! It is only understandable then that since man learnt to walk on his two legs he has passionately endeavoured to communicate to the world and himself all that he perceives the world to be, all the ideas, feelings and emotions his perception of the world creates in him.
Thus, through mans’ need to communicate were laid the foundations of all that is fine in our world- culture, language, literature, philosophy, and even religion and god. Since times immemorial, man has used various such forms of art as a means of communicating with his fellow men. And once this dialogue began- it simply never ceased to flow. This article is solely dedicated to capturing the essence of how this dialogue takes place. And although no art form is complete without certain elements of the other art forms, but, for the sake of this article, we shall discuss them individually to the extent this is possible.
Perhaps the cave paintings left behind to tell the stories of prehistoric man do not fall in the genre of ‘fine arts’ per say, however it was these very juvenile cave paintings that went on to form the basis of all forms of art as we know them. From theology, history, literature etc. to even the languages we speak and write today, the genesis of everything can, in one way or another, be traced back to these pieces of wisdom left all over the world by man of another time. With time mans’ creations became all the more sophisticated and complex. It became a layered maze of possible interpretations. And even these complex interpretations varied from individual to individual, culture to culture, generation to generation. Soon fine arts became not just a medium of self expression, but also of a catharsis of the soul. In fact, to a great extent, the aim of all art became a sort of catharsis for both the artist and the onlooker. Thus, the perception of fine art grew beyond the confines of mere image representation.
In a literal sense theology is a mere school or systems of opinions that deal with matters of God and religious concerns. However, from the communications point of view it is much more than just that. For when you think of what all this communicates you realise the need of this communication embedded again in mans’ perception of the world. For instance, what in the world made man think of God, and believe in him to such an extent that he established the system of religion?, and what made relatively unrelated men at different parts of the world form relatively different such religions at various points of time?, etc. Apart from this theology also speaks of the human need to belong, to be pacified by this sense of belonging, and to hold on to it even when everything else ceases to be. This perhaps is the most relevant of all messages that man sends out through his theological communications.
Language perhaps is the easiest to perceive as a form of communication. But it is not just a means of communication. It is an art form. An art form in the sense of it being a means of expressing ideas and emotions, demands and desires, histories and stories, and much-much more. Also, we must realise that communication did not start with language, nor is language confined by forms of verbal exchange of words. Instead languages evolved intricately around various forms of communication. So, apart from hundreds of cultivated verbal dialects all across the world that are regional in nature and not easy to understand we have another highly complex and evolved systems of languages that are universal throughout the world. These developed naturally as man evolved with time and include the body language, sign language, perceptible language of body scents etc. all these together and individually contribute to the art of communication in various ways. Theatre is a direct result and best example of the marriage of art and communication.
Any discussion on art is always incomplete till the art of literature is included in it. For literature is imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value. Simply put, literature is a form of artistic representation of ideas, beliefs, thoughts and feelings, compiled by putting together works of various verbal artists belonging to different times, ages and schools of thought. Any piece of literature is an artistic representation of possible interpretations of not only the artist/writer but also the times and society he was part of- or the world which moulded his thinking.
For generations man has used numerous such art forms such as music, dancing and singing etc. as instruments of communication. As they become more and more complex with mans’ evolution they also diversify into various sub-streams and sub-genres. For instance, accessories that are an artistic representation of status, style, culture etc. were once made of stone and bones, then they graduated to bronze and copper and still later to silver, gold and platinum. Yet, there hasn’t been a time in the entire history of man where he hasn’t communicated through art. And the power of this communication is felt most when we realise how this need to communicate beautifully has led to the evolution of man and his world to such an extent that today he is able to capture and communicate all that he finds beautiful in high-tech gadgets like the camera, satellite television etc. This signifies that all his endeavours to grow and evolve still have the basic need to communicate as its foundation. So, in essence, his art shows his need of art to communicate. Indeed ‘Art Talks- And How!’