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Reconnecting with oneself and reality through art

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: In this era, digital devices occupy a huge part of people’s lives. Overusing digital devices overwhelms humans’ minds with an artificial reality that can have a serious impact on their mental wellness. To protect oneself from the negative impact of digital devices, many people believe art can be a source of cleansing one’s mind, as it provides a chance to focus on one’s connection to natural reality. To further understand the significance of art to escape digital devices’ impact on individuals’ mental health, Kuwait Times interviewed art teacher Abdulaziz Al-Shammar and art instructor Maha Al-Otaibi.

Shammar said art is necessary for people in this digital era because it can clear their head, as it fosters feelings of relaxation and creativity rather than putting their minds and skills under numbness of using digital devices and exposure to artificial realities. Otaibi concurred, saying the importance of art in people’s lives is that it is not just a source of entertainment — it is a source of connecting to oneself and the real world. Art gives individuals a chance of expressing themselves. For instance, outdoor art is an example of art that pushes individuals to go out in the open air and use their natural senses to connect with the nature around them and reflect what they see on the canvas, which enhances the quality of mindfulness.

She said cleansing one’s mind happens always when the mind is present in the moment, as this digital era creates an urge to know everything that is happening in faraway places, besides unreal worlds. When the mind is not present in the moment or place it actually is in, the mind loses its real vision. Thus, even if a person can see, they will not see the surrounding beauty and details. A person loses the moment while sinking in unreal moments inside the screen, because screens can take one everywhere except reality.

Art, regardless of what kind of art one is working on, is considered one of the best ways to cleanse one’s mind and keep it present with all the human senses, even if one’s imagination is going somewhere else, and makes you feel your humanity. Shammar shed light on arts’ importance on students’ performance at school. He said art lets their creativity flow and makes them imaginative, which can help students refocus their attention, build memory, enhance problem-solving skills and boost productivity.

This makes art as important as any other subject that students study at school. Moreover, Otaibicompared between displaying artwork through screens and in real life. She said displaying artwork in actuality ismuch better than displaying it behind a screen. She loves to see the detailsof the artwork with her eyes and feel the real texture. At the same time, Otaibi said she does not deny the role that media platforms play in displaying art in an easy and quick way;howeverthis cannot show the real beauty of the artwork as much as seeing it in reality does.

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