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March 2015

What does art mean to you?

Recently I was in a tiny town in New Zealand consisting of only one street. I was intrigued to see an art gallery nestling amongst the shops, and further along another shop front displaying Maori art, advertising lessons on how to make the traditional grass skirts from New Zealand flax. Thinking about this later I realized that in that small town you can see what art means to so many people. It gives us pleasure yet at the same time points to our cultural heritage and national identity. Our museums and national galleries are full of icons of our visual heritage as well as the latest developments in all forms of visual arts. They foster dialogue; they intrigue, scandalize and delight in equal measure. They can energize – as a striking example look at what Turner Contemporary has done for Margate, on England’s south coast, which had suffered from the modern Brit’s preference for foreign...

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