The use of art has always been a way of expression, development, communication and creativity for humans, elements inextricably linked to self-realisation. As the painter Wassily Kandinsky put it: "art is not a creation without purpose, but a force that serves the development and sensitization of the human soul." 

Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos

The benefits of art to humanity 

Engaging in art can work creatively, diagnostically, regulatory, expressively, prognostically, therapeutically, compensatory and transformatively. 

Art and intellectual clarity

Full of symbolism from unconscious statements about the mental state of man, art contributes to the enhancement of psychosomatic health, the strengthening of cognitive and emotional functions and the treatment of intrapsychic conflicts. 

The works of art "evoke associations", allowing people with psychological problems, memory or expression problems to “remember and share their past”. At the same time they provide information about the human experience. Viewers can admire works of art that have the ability to relieve them of feelings of isolation through the process of contact with the work as an object and their assimilation to it, mainly because they can connect these works with their personal experiences.

Aesthetic experience contributes to the formation of critical thinking. Art makes us think and see the world around us differently. At the same time it develops our imagination, being a deeper and wider experience than usual. It encourages us to visually express our dreams, our thoughts, even our craziest ideas. In addition to thought, imagination, creativity, and memory, contact with the Arts stimulates concentration and perception.

All these cognitive functions of humans are useful in various areas of our life, from learning and pedagogical, to social and professional. Art speaks of life and the world through its own language, which is common to all people, across borders, nations, religions and any other divisions. Starting from the common need for creativity, it helps us to get to know ourselves and the world deeper and more substantially. Contact with art enriches and expands the way of seeing reality and leads us to reassessments and repositioning of the relationship with oneself and with others. 

Art and mental health 

The contribution of the arts is proved to be important to human mental health by reducing pain, chronic fatigue, stress and depression, boosting brain activity and the immune system, and therefore human well-being. It also provides the opportunity for entertainment, relaxation and unwinding from the tensions of everyday life, contributing to achieving inner peace and balance. In this way it upgrades our quality of life. 

Especially nowadays, that the Covid-19 pandemic has suddenly overturned what until recently was considered familiar, self-evident and taken for granted. The future is uncertain and art is the field of escape, support and dissemination of positive messages. 

In conclusion, art provides the opportunity for personal development and cultivation, leading to the detection, processing and deepening of meanings. These facts help us to seek the true value of what is happening in the immediate environment and in society at large. 

Elisavet Ioannidi Education Curator - Visual Psychotherapist