The link between psychedelics and art is well known, in fact some believe that it was ingestion of particular fungi or moulds that led to the original idea of abstract thought within humans. The depiction of symbols of representation that carried universal meaning through-out entire communities was the origin of the written language, which in turn led to the mass development of the human culture as a whole.
Mind bending substances are ways of allowing us to perceive the world from a completely new perspective. Forcefully adjusted, our new narcotised mindset will give us possible new insights into the world around u and more importantly, ourselves. Linking art to well-being is also a tradition that goes back for many generations. Today, art therapy is a core branch of any respectable mental health routine or service. Because art allows us to glimpse into the inner workings of our mind, by what we relate particular images, feelings, and colours with, we gain particular insights into the sub-conscious under thinking that outlines what we consciously perceive.
Controversial neuropsychopharmachologist and ex UK government advisor on drugs policy, David Nutt has recently been interviewed by Vice magazine about his work with psychedelics on health. The brain is the main source for all human experience, outside of the external world, and so by altering the way it interacts with the input gained from the world, the benefits to the person on the whole are possibly very promising. A lot of work has been done on treating addiction by using psychedelics, and work is underway to study their effects on chronic pain.
As the author of “Drugs, without the hot air”, David Nutt states, “ I think in five years, psilocybin will be used to treat people in the United States.” which has already taken ground-breaking leaps with the permission of medical cannabis in some states. Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, and it is famous for its psychedelic properties around the world. The medical industry could possibly begin using it within the decade, according to this expert.
Art has been drawing on the benefits of psychedelics for much longer, however, and for a brief period after its invention, LSD was legal and inspiring all sorts of new modes of expression. It's known that psychedelics enhance the subconscious mind, and magnify the conscious output of it, meaning we get a much more holographic representation of the world around us, sourcing from all sorts of usually non-related imagery and concepts to make sense of it. The expression of art therefore will allow a person to take a form of snap-shop from their imaginative mind during these times and shed light on what is happening on a human level but beyond the scope of the human experience.
Getting creative in the garden doesn't necessarily mean planting colourful flowering plants in nice patterns along the beds, although it most definitely includes this, there are other ways to unleash the creative flare in our own outdoor spaces. Douglas Barnhard, a carpenter and artist, has constructed a selection of birdhouses inspired by famous architecture.
Image source: PSFK.com
Finding unique and novel ways to make items for wildlife to live in can be fun and it helps our local natural community too. In the cold months, putting food out for our outdoor friends and neighbours is often something people do. The birds especially need a helping hand in the city where food can be scarce in the cold months, especially if there has been a snow. Getting creative there can mean making a bird table in a nice shape, maybe add a few tiers to it and adorn it with decorative angles and pillars.
Even something really flamboyant like this luxury birdhouse on ebay isn't out of the reach of many handy men and women.
Getting physical with some tools may be exactly what we need in this cold weather. This is definitely the right time of year to do that work on the garden, and perhaps something more heavy is on your mind. Re-arranging the spaces and finding places for more greenery now will mean by the spring, everything will be nice and settled before it begins to flourish.
On the subject of activism, getting creative can mean simply doing something differently. American walking enthusiast Mark Baumer is walking across the United States for the second time, and on this occasion, he's barefoot and with a great cause behind him. FANG Collective are a non-profit from Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country. This organisation are taking real active steps in communities in order to make life difficult for developers who disregard the environment. It looks like this can get a little dramatic at times too.
Mark is walking in peace, however, choosing a more passive way of raising support for the planet and the beauty it offers us each day. Vice Magazine has an interesting interview with the activist, he discusses his journey and feelings about the cause. It was carried out over the phone, and according to the author, was interrupted by a citizen and a police officer, both concerned about his safety. I suppose this is when he spreads his message, and their shock at seeing him helps them to remember.
Another way of making a statement is to make a demonstration that provides insight into the ludicrous nature of some of life's social rules. Transvestite, Sean Parsons is taking his home Canadian oil town by storm in a headline performance at the theatre. Surrounded by tough hard working drillers and industrial types, having the guts to go all out and perform to audiences dressed in the clothing of the opposite sex is only something for the thick skinned sensitive types like Sean.
Having the courage to go all out and make a statement that lasts for a long time in the minds of the audience, and provides plenty to think about after, makes a lasting impression for the work and its creator. This also means that sometimes work can be upsetting or disturbing, and this has to be allowed in moderation and with the correct labelling. Freedom to express means responsibility and it can be a fine line when it comes to things that seriously go against the flow of a cultural norm.