Art in itself might not feel very hyggelig (the adjective for hygge, which is a noun), because it is often viewed in galleries, which are not homely. However, it is the way we respond to art, the emotions it can give us, when we look at it, that can give us that warm happy feeling. . These two poems express that notion very beautifully.
THE ART THIEF
Some night, when I’m marooned in Scarborough,
and dusk falls early, and the town
shows hardly any sign of life, because
the year is on the ebb, tourists long gone –
only chilled foam lashes the promenade,
only the sea, withdrawing, can be heard –
I’d go to one particular old house
whose door would magically open,
walk through the dim rooms with my torch,
ignore the hallmarked silver,
go to the fireplace, where it’s hung
for eighty years, and steal the Atkinson Grimshaw –
you won’t know him – the half-forgotten painter
of moonlight, clouds, dark water.
The view is complete.
A port, the moon, ships sunk in profound sleep.
This picture wouldn’t be wired; it would
come off the wall quite easily.
And then I’d hug it under
my coat, sneak home, leaving the north of England
without its greatest treasure.
In my dreams, the theft always ends quite happily.
On Looking at Monet’s Water Lilies
Fading sight bade him search
behind human vision
for impressions of changing time,
dawn and eve, noon and night. A diffusion
of green, blue and lilac in the air –
leafy pads in violet, viridian, blended soft
in madder lake. The endlessness of water,
sky, light, their reflections above
and beneath. No definition of where
a horizon should begin or end,
nor where you should stand to view it.
A capturing of shifting qualities,
A feeling of growth –
the permutation of elements
in front of, and behind
The mind’s eye.
Photo of a mixed media collage of a thrush, by Angela Topping
4 responses to “Hygge Feature #21 Responding to Art”
Liked both but was easy drawn to merryn’s . Felt like there was an entry into the world of the painting!
Sent from my iPad Joan Leotta Author, Story performer http://Www.joanleotta.wordpress.com 910-575-0618
Exactly, Angela – our response to art could indeed be described as ‘hyggelig’. I have always found the glow from the corner shop window of Van Gogh’s painting ‘Café Terrace at Night’ intriguing. When I was young I imagined it to be a sweet or toy shop and wanted to be able to peek in! 🙂
That painting of VG’s is very appropriate, coming into a cosy cafe from outdoor dark. I’ve always loved that painting and used to have the poster on the inside of the loo door.
I also had a poster of it when I was at uni, along with several of Dali’s which are definitely not hyggelig!