Deborah Dickinson

Friedrich Hegel once said, ‘art expresses the spirit of a culture or age.’ This notion illustrates the self-expression that is within the core fragment of humanity’s development. How does the creativity of an individual’s mind influence the way we think, feel and perceive? 

Since the dawn of civilization, we have created everything around us from ideas: all around us and in the world, from our environments to our decisions and experiences. It all influences the individual’s perception of life and it is important to know that being human, from all those aspects, makes us who we are today. The question for me is: what makes us remarkably human in our own unique ways; from our self-expression of the reflections of the world around us? 

At the beginning of life, we are born into a world of our own making from our own self-expression. The world we see now is a subjective state of mind. If we truly experienced the same as everyone else, it would change our perception. It would not be unique to the person: it would be a black and white view everyone shares. As an individual, we have our own unique experience and choices influenced by our external world. 

In this world we inhabit and adapt to the architectural, urban and public spaces; as light and space shape us into who we are today. Questions arise from the depth of our beings about the environments we occupy, and our experiences as an individual, by exploring the connection of one’s mind and the brain. They work in harmony, creating a more complex way for our self-expression and viewpoint on art and life. 

Other perspectives and thoughts reflect on the notion of environmental identity, reality and how it has shaped us into who we are today. Kwon reinterprets the idea of environmental identity and how it is essential for the expansion of the self: ‘our sense of identity is fundamentally tied to our relationship to places and the histories they embody, the up-rooting of our lives from specific local cultures and places.’ 

A neuroscientist David Eagleman has stated: ‘a human brain allows itself to be shaped by the details of life experiences.’ With a newborn’s brain, the neurons are unconnected due to the effect of the human brain being born uncompleted and the development getting stronger towards adulthood, giving it the ability to create new pathways and networks to wire the person who they will become, from the exposure to the outer world. 

This idea of the individual’s journey from one environment to another can influence their cognitive mind physically and mentally in a drastic way; as the assumption of cultural identity is at work. The phenomenon of what we see, and we understand is a fundamental part of being human. Seeing from an artist’s perspective on this notion, Olafur Eliasson, ‘The idea that creating spaces for reflection matters. 

Finally, I ask you, dear reader, what about slowing down for a moment, take a breath and become fully aware of everything around you. See how the earth, the people and connections make you think and feel. This simple act is truly remarkable and says a lot about the story of being human in a distinctive way of the encompassing this world; individually, uniquely and extraordinarily. Are experiences and opinions being our own, the reality we form our impressions of human creativity; It is a way of life. 

Words: Deborah Dickinson, Fine Art, @debzlizzy1995

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