UNLV Radio Interview with Jackie Nourigat – September 25/2014
1. Are spiritual values communicated through Art?
Art can be described as a spiritual Quest for Truth and Identity through self expression.
In the realm of Humanistic Culture, Painting was once called “a most suitable Art,” and given such attributes like “divine”, bestowed to the great Masters of the Craft such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. The spiritual values inherent to any quest for Truth find a path for communication through Art.
2. Why is Art essential to human functioning?
The human body is made of an intricacy of energetic fields interfering with each other in multiple directions. Inside the great whole is what has been called “the emotional body”, an area where get stockpiled sentiments, affective moods, attachments, likes and dislikes, and other vulnerabilities. Thus, as inner constraints or debilitating forces are sources of emotional suffering as they become embedded in our psyche, we need to find an exhaust, sort of a conduit to help liberate us from their negative impact. Art acts as a perfect tool we can use to counteract the effects of stress and protect us from the impairment caused by negative energy in the body.
3. Does expressing yourself artistically have healing power?
In the movie called “My left Foot” that I revisited recently (it is the story of Christy Brown starring Daniel Day-Lewis, and directed by Jim Sheridan, we are witnessing the main actor, who is suffering from a marring of his left foot, becoming able to use it to paint, thus overcoming the stress and great trauma of his mutilation. So, the answer is “Yes! Absolutely!” Art may not be the cure, but it is an infallible ally in that direction!
4. Could Art be used more effectively in our Community?
Yes, it could and should be used more effectively. I’ll give you an example in our City. When the concept of the ‘First Fridays’ originated, it started as a “Visiting Art Event” downtown Las Vegas, meant to encourage people to get to know more of the Arts in the City. It was a good idea. But, as time went by, it started degenerating into something different. Now, it was about the pleasure of eating, drinking, and having fun. Period. As far as Art is concerned, it has lost its presence for the viewers and Galleries started to close. For years on end, I was a member of The Contemporary Arts Center, located in the Arts Factory. They had to leave, and others did, as well. It is as if the breath had been sucked out of the artistic mission. We heard lots of complaints, and discussions on the radio as well, but not much, so far, seems to have made a difference.
5. Can artistic expression ever be totally free of influence?
I doubt it! We are living in a world where everything influences everything else. Artistic expression is no exception, as Art exists in society where economy, politics, as well as a plurality of collective Civic rules, and moral values have to be shared. Maybe, if one would choose an island instead, where he would think he could escape the rigorous rulings of the community, and its influence, but there still would be lots of the environmental phenomena in Nature able to influence the person, like plants, trees, birds, fish, animals around, or even the weather, or the color of the day. . . Influence is inevitable!
6. Are there any works of fiction that touch on the same themes as your Art?
This is a very beautiful question. There would be so much to say, and I am not sure there is enough time for that. I will start with mentioning the great gift that Humanity at large and our modern Civilization have been receiving with the writings of Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung.
With them, the new mechanisms of identity, and of The World of Consciousness as we knew it, changed forever, becoming more coherent, cogent and explicable from then on, revealing their attributes like never before : all fields of psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis became wide open, allowing the Conscious, the Unconscious, the Subconscious, the Normal, the Paranormal, all the fields of psychology, of psychoanalysis, to be accessible to study and to therapy, and in the Arts, as well, point towards new approaches and new avenues of expression, unheard ways open to Fantasy, to the Fantastic, to the Occult, to Mysticism, and so much more.
There was a twist, though! Whereas the intention of Freud as a Physician, was only The Cure, pretty soon afterwards, it started to take an almost out-of-control, a rather wild path among some artists around the world who didn’t want to accept any more constraints to their power of creation. This is even more visible in the world today where Art is being affected by the tremendous advances in technology (photography, television, computers, cell phones, all devices making-up the digital industry) that are, gradually, taking away its specificities, to make it more “global”. Because of all the facility put at the disposal of the Modern Artist, some things will be gained in the process, others will be lost. One thing is for sure: Art is no more what it used to be. But, only Time will tell!
Getting back, now, to your question about “Themes” in my Art, I must say that my curiosity towards ways of human expression through all forms of Arts and Cultures is almost infinite. If I could cite the theme I cherish above all, that stands always ahead of me like a beacon, a Guiding Light, it is and only IS: Empathy, the Love for others, the Love for Humanity. Any work of fiction, be it a poem, a piece of music, a painting, a Theater play or a Movie, that triggers that sentiment, resonates inside of me, and will be there to stay: Victor Hugo “Les Misérables”, “Schindler’s List,” “Dr. Jivago” for instance. I love Classical Music with a passion, that of some German composers, some archetypical giants like Johan Sebastian Bach, or George Frederick Handel, for example, or, being an incurable romantic as well, some of French Romantics like Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, and many more!
Beauty is what I am searching for, everywhere. I may say it in French, in you wish: “La Beauté est dans la Bonté!” (Beauty is in the Goodness of the Heart.) But, before we end it all, I could, as well, leave you my motto : “I love people who love people!” So long, for now, and Thanks a lot for inviting me! Jackie Scheckler Nourigat