Poems tell miniature stories, as do song lyrics, paintings and scenes in movies. The stories in each art form suggest a range of cultural concepts. For example, a collection of one piece from each art form might make the careful viewer aware of a tangible feature shared by each of them, such as a hat or a factory, or perhaps an abstraction such as suffering or hope. But this notion of stories with a common theme across art forms extends more broadly.
All art, including the creative activities we call poetry, song-writing, painting, and filming, opens us to a multitude of themes of the human condition. We can spot themes across art forms, and those shared themes and subthemes can stimulate varied perspectives from the different genre.
That goal animates the clusters of five posts on this blog: to explore a theme shared by a quartet of an Impressionist painting, a poem in English, a rock song, and a movie scene. Careful consideration of the piece chosen from each genre draws out sub-themes from them. Along with the four posts that concentrate on each art form in the quartet, a fifth post adds additional subthemes that span the individual observations or find no anchor in any of the pieces of art.
I have also expanded into a quantitative analysis of the Themes. My first series of five posts should appear in late January 2022.
If you have read this far, you may wonder who I am and why am I writing this blog. During my career in the U.S. as a lawyer and then for three decades as a management consultant to lawyers, I read a fair amount of poetry, collected and admired hundreds of postcards of impressionist paintings, relished the rock music of the ’60s and ‘70’s, and watched movies throughout. It also gives me pleasure to write, to engage in a “project” – as this has turned out to be – and to play around with ideas – themes and subthemes. Having found just such a mix of familiar culture, an opportunity to put thoughts into writing, and tools from the platform of R software and other open-source offerings (GitHub, Hugo, NetLify), it’s been engrossing to make Themes from Art a reality that keeps developing. I’d love to hear from you. Please write me if you have any comments or questions: rees(AT)reesmorrison(DOT).com