At Marco Polo Consulting we believe that art has a profound and subtle power of transformation for personal, leadership and creativity development. Through art people become more sensitive, emotionally aware, creative and the world profoundly needs it. For this reason we have always advocated for bringing more art in every aspect of people's life and we have developed a platform to achieve this called:
“Through Art” is a concept, a platform and a purpose, the one of enriching the spirit of everyone bringing art into their everyday life.
In a world so uncertain and complex as ours, approaches that are traditional and purely logical and based on efficiency are not enough anymore. In order to navigate complexity it is important to tap also into our intuition and emotional awareness, being able to see problems in an holistic and systemic way, connect inside ourselves to challenge assumptions and blind spots, integrate a left brain approach with a right one.
The so-called “Feeling economy” is emerging where Artificial Intelligence performs many analytical and thinking tasks and human workers gravitate more towards interpersonal, and emphatic tasks. Also into the corporate organizations we start hearing concepts such as identity, purpose, spirit, wholeness, experience.
Without diminishing the importance of logic and efficiency, it is important to start integrating and rebalancing also the other component in our way of approaching complexity, the paradigm of creativity and emotional empathy.
For this reason art can be very helpful because art lives, prospers and stimulates the right hemisphere of our brain and it is based on creativity, emotions, passion, skills such as envisioning, empathy, boldness and courage, observation, critical thinking, exactly the type of skills we need to learn and practice.
The arts shape and express human feelings, communicate and transfer sensations in interpersonal and social relationships.
Creativity, that is at the base of art making brings meaning and passion, things we need definitely more in our life and work.
Let’s see one by one some of the aspects where art can give a great contribution:
Self and emotional awareness, empathy
Art touches directly cordes which are inside our unconscious and connects with feelings bypassing the barriers of the logical mind. For this reason by making or enjoying art we educate ourselves to our emotions and by perceiving the feelings expressed by the artist we learn to become also empathic to other people's emotions. It is interesting to observe how into medical staff education programs recently art has been included to improve their empathy to patients.
Dialogue and co-creation
Art uses metaphorical language and for this reason the viewer needs always to add a piece of meaning (his own) to the artwork. By doing that a process of dialogue starts with the painting/artist and also with other viewers, if this new meaning is shared and becomes a collective co-created meaning.
Courage, critical thinking and envisioning
Many artworks are thought provoking, they challenge the normal thinking and system, they try to go beyond the mass point of view and they also help to re-interpret reality. From artists we can learn boldness and critical thinking. Often they can lead us to see things that are not yet so evident, because they use their special sensitivity to read what is around us and connect dots where we do not see any connection yet.
Especially through visual art practice we can learn observation skills. As a trained painter one of the first things I learned is that to learn how to draw and paint what is most important is not how to use the pencil or the brush but how we observe reality. Normally we observe just the simplified version of our external world, the one who leads us to perform efficiently our tasks. we see the image of the world we have in our mind. A painter instead really observes all the patterns, the lights and shadows as they are and can appreciate the infinite variety of the world. A painter also learns that there is no artistic observation without interpretation. We see with our eyes but also with our emotions, heart and identity and inevitably we put it in our response to the world. In this way an artist learns that any point of view is just A point of view not THE point of view.
Holistic and systemic thinking
As we said already art uses a metaphorical language, and this is a holistic approach. Going back to the visual art I know better, a painter will never see a piece of his artwork separated and disconnected from the rest. Everything is connected both in terms of visual composition, harmony, variety and balance and from a meaning standpoint. This can teach about system thinking, breaking silos and see the world and problems as a complex intertwined, integrated holistic system.
by Giorgia Madonno