Pleasure is Subjective

Abstract art is easy for some people and brutally hard for others. For Laura Belford, representational art is the default. We’re trained from childhood to draw pictures of something. Creating something recognizable allows viewers to immediately grasSONY DSCp what’s going on. Usually, there is an immediate reaction. Many people love representational art that is accurate and lifelike. But most of us have the imagination required to appreciate stylized art. Whether it’s a human face or a sculpture of an animal, we consider it good art as long as it is both aesthetically pleasing and  cleverly suggestive of whatever it’s supposed to represent.

Relating to abstract art is neither easier nor harder than relating to representational art. It’s just different. Most abstracts are abstract by intention and design. Good abstracts invoke a certain mood or state. When Laura was creating her recent sculpture “Emergence”, she was aware of its plant-like attributes. For that very reason, she avoided emphasizing those aspects, and thus avoided subjecting it to judgments like, “I’ve never seen a flower/tree branch/fiddlehead like that before.”   And as she progressed, she discovered that the lines and curves suggested many things to many different people. By making sure it was a sculpture of nothing in particular, it became increasing defined by individual perceptions of it; neither a plant, nor a woman, nor a bird, nor an animal, it has aspects of all those things.

When the colours emerged during the polishing, they simply added to the sensuality of a piece that was pretty sensuous to begin with.

Rather than people saying, “it doesn’t look like a tulip to me,” they now just say, “My God, that’s beautiful.”

If you think it’s beautiful now, you haven’t had a complete art appreciation experience until you’ve touched it and looked at it from every possible angle. See more pictures of Emergence at

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