FondsGoetheanum: Arts

Your contribution towards a responsible conception of art 

Today’s culture places great emphasis on thinking and willing. Anthroposophical art consciously seeks to strengthen the middle region of the human heart, thereby uniting head, heart and hand.
With your contribution you support and encourage further research into the fascinating connections between art and the development of new faculties at every stage of life.
Thanks to your donation, these results can be documented and made available to science and the general public. A case in point is the art therapy project at the Ita Wegman Clinic in Arlesheim, near Basel, where first results have shown that speech therapy can have a positive influence on the regulation of blood pressure.

All research in this area is funded by donations.

Where does art have its source?

Every colour, every form, every sound, every space affects us. Anthroposophical art is aware of this responsibility. Delicately, carefully and playfully, it seeks the middle way between head and hand.

Why do children sing? What is more beautiful than to hear the singing of children totally immersed in their play? We can all recall such moments in our own childhood and the imaginary worlds we created. Such dream worlds were often more real for us than day-to-day life. Singing clearly belongs to those worlds. Nothing obliges playing children to sing. Still close to their inner heaven, it is this that sings out.

Rediscover and reawaken the singing child in us 

Awaken the child is us

Why do we go silent as we grow older? Why do we stop singing? Stop playing? Why do our dreams become ever more tentative, ever more pale? It seems this is the price we pay for ‘growing up’, for becoming people of the world. So it is said anyway. Yet the lives of important personalities tell just the opposite story! And with good reason!
This world from which childhood dreams come, is it not also the source of all the visions and ideas that make for healthy evolution of practical life itself? Is it not just the imagination of childhood and the joy of playing that we ‘grown-ups’ urgently need to recapture in order to lift the mood and spirit of daily life?
Does not the secret of creativity lie in the fact that we have kept alive in us a child that can still can dream? Can still sing? When we sing, does this not give wings to our souls, lifting us above the daily grind? When we keep a proper distance from events, the deeper purposes of our lives reveal themselves, the better to steer our course by. It is the child in us, the child that still can sing, that renders us creative, enabling us to dream and allowing us to meet life with joy.

Art for the whole of life

This is what anthroposophical art aims to foster: the importance of art for the whole of life. Whatever one’s calling, cultivating the artistic dimensions of life allows one to see things anew, giving to all one’s experiences greater freshness and intensity. And yet we cannot return to childhood. As adults we need to be aware of what we do and what we produce. Only in this way can we be responsible for our deeds. Our ‘play’ must be conscious and self-critical. That is the difference between art and play.

With heart, head and hands

Above all, anthroposophical art aims to strengthen the centre, the region of the human heart. Modern culture places great emphasis on thinking and willing (doing). But it is through art that we strengthen and cultivate our feeling life. Human beings ‘with heart’ are able to bring together head and hands in ways that are harmonising and therapeutic in their effects. In this sense, anthroposophical art is a conscious quest to find the middle way between head and hands. It is not about giving artistic form to concepts and ideas. Or about creating out of gut experience.
Everything to which one gives form affects the human being. Every colour has an effect on us, every form, every sound, every space…  Such influence should never be exercised without responsibility. These are the media that the artist has to learn to shape, discovering for each of them the effect it has. Because in the domain of art it is experience that matters above all else.
Each medium can become a language for speaking to human beings. It is a language that has to be felt: a language that addresses itself to and strengthens our centre. It is a language we all spoke as children, that we spoke when singing while playing. Its recovery is one of the missions of art.

Johannes Greiner