How do you feel when you see the color red? Excited? Do you sense desire? How do you feel when you see a baby wearing pink or blue? Do you think cute? How about a baby wearing black? Oooo!
Picture entering a big yellow room with xylophone sounds playing in the background. Now picture entering a black room with mirrors, and a gentle broken violin sound playing in the background.
You feel something don’t you? And that feeling can either be good or bad. A feeling that can either leave you happy or worried, energized or emotionally drained. That’s the power or art. Music, fine art, film, dance, design etc are all connected and can affect our emotions in ways beyond our understanding.
The corporate world
I have had my fair share of stints in the “corporate world”, and from the accounting office to server rooms and long meetings about strategy and new developments I have realized one clear pattern, and that’s monotony. Like with the concept of the assembly line, there is structure. Structure is very good but the thing about structure is that, many things that are done in a repeated form get boring and can affect one’s health overtime; especially as internal and external pressures build up.
From clocking in, heading to the cafeteria, to sitting behind a desk typing customer details or generating reports and so for forth, to clocking out and picking a ride home, many in the corporate world are stressed by the routine of their lives. And what makes this more stressful is the pressure they have to deal with everyday, from superiors to customer demands to mishaps, to their own personal problems that they have to suppress during work hours. The corporate world can feel like a boiler room, but the thing is, it doesn’t have to be so. I believe companies can create alternative worlds where employees can experience a calming environment through art and interior design.
Stress begins mental and as this builds up it can lead to heart conditions, depression and so forth. Art begins mental as well, and the more we gaze upon an art piece, soaking up its colors, forms and structure, the better we feel. This feeling is quite similar to the way we feel when we watch a movie or listen to our favorite song after a long stressful day over a meal we love.
We as humans, go to the beach, mountain tops and other spots where we can appreciate nature to its fullest and most of all to de-stress. Do you know, that art is a way of capturing the essence and power of nature (as well as time) unto a canvas? A painting, sculpture or others forms of artistic expression aren’t just something nice. A work of art is God working through man to continue our mandate to “increase and multiple”. It is God working through man, using everything done during creation as a foundation to make wonders, that will leave man in awe of who He is. People don’t get de-stressed simply because art is beautiful, but because art contains power or energies as some will like to put it.
Man was driven out of the garden of Eden and had to toil, sweat and struggle. Art is our way of recreating the wonders in the garden of Eden that Adam and Eve once enjoyed. To toil and sweat in a closed box from 9 to 5, staring at screens, watching your stress levels go up and fearing having hypertension, blood pressure and all, isn’t the way to go.
We need to de-stress the workplace.
Work is good and that’s how we all get to eat and survive, but work doesn’t have to be the death of you and your employees. Work has to be an environment where people grow and are transformed on the inside and out.
We all need our employees alive and more productive and one way to ensure this is to create an artful space that’s welcoming and relaxing. I will end this post with some pictures from MDS Lancet (East Legon). It’s currently one of my favorite murals that we have worked on so far. If you are in Ghana, you need to pass by this wall for yourself and let me know how you feel when you encounter this work in their space.
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