We, as humans, have always faced uncertainty engaging with life and a resultant complex set of mechanisms have developed to help us navigate through this. Our emotional engagement with life is a powerful source of motivation, conscious or unconscious.
Leaving aside the academic debates that underpin these concepts we, at Kunsthuis Gallery, would like to focus on the idea of positive emotions as the theme for our next exhibition. In particular, we invite artists to produce work inspired by the ideas of Barbara Fredrickson’s ground-breaking Broaden-and-Build Theory of positive emotions. She says the ‘point’ of positive emotions is to open our minds, broaden and expand awareness, and facilitate the building and development of resources including knowledge, skills, abilities and relationships. For example, ‘joy sparks the urge to play, interest sparks the urge to explore, contentment the urge to savour and integrate, and love sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within a safe, close relationships.’ We feel that hand in hand with this idea is that of resilience, the building and layering of positive responses that can also refer to the materials chosen to be used in the production of works of art. And colour looms large here as a powerful source of the expression of feelings.
Before we leave it to you, here are some lovely words to set you on your way.
Joy a sense of elation, happiness, often experienced as a sudden spike due to something good
Serenity calm, peaceful feeling of acceptance of oneself
Interest feeling curiosity or fascination that demands and captures attention
Amusement a feeling of light hearted pleasure often accompanied by smiles and easy laughter
Enthusisasm a sense of excitement, accompanied by motivation and engagement
Optimism a positive and hopeful emotion that encourages you to look forward to a bright future, one in which you think that things will mostly work out
Inspiration feeling engaged, uplifted and motivated by something
Awe an emotion that is evoked when you witness something grand, spectacular or breathtaking sparking a sense of overwhelming appreciation
At KUNSTHUIS our aim is to curate an exciting exhibition of saleable work in the mediums of photography, ceramics, sculpture, illustration, painting, printmaking, drawing, textiles, glass, collage, music (cd), poetry (printed collection), digital and jewellery. We want to encourage conversations, increase knowledge transfer and provide visual delights for our audiences in order to share and spread positive emotions through inspirational authentic works of art. As curators of this show, we believe the arts has a role and a responsibility to encourage the transformational thinking required to move us away from the negative emotions we are confronted with daily, albeit it close to home or on a global scale.