Art and the Activity of Contemplation


  • Barry Gazzard


It is difficult to imagine a society in which the arts did not play an important role. They were the catalyst for the fusion of the contemporary thought, experience and technology in the making of objects of supreme cultural importance. Even technologically unsophisticated societies, fashioned the most intractable materials into valued artworks. The skills and technology evidenced in the making were often so advanced that, knowledge about how they were actually made still eludes us. From the time of the oldest remaining traces it is obvious that the arts were considered as the foremost vehicle for the expression of metaphysical speculations and beliefs. This notwithstanding. the major religions generally found the question of images problematic and Christianity struggled for a very long time with the problem of visual representation