Work ~ The defining characteristic of man

15 Jun 2022   |  Journal

I am restlessly curious and ultimately believe that this is most probably the primary reason I paint. I often think about the structure that most of us operate under (in a professional capacity), and this in turn can inform my visual work every now and then. These are my curious thoughts/observations, and are not necessarily opinions…

As a society, we are involved by and large in a business system that divides our day into work and play. Work is something that everybody does and we get paid to do it because we probably wouldn’t do it otherwise.

In other words, it is often so unappealing and misaligned with our identity that it has to be incentivized. Where work is organised in this way it isn’t about pleasure or self-expression. Pleasure must be purchased and consumed outside of working hours. Work can often become a function that has little relation to personal life and self-expression. Work is a defining characteristic of man. It is in our nature to work in order to meet our needs and to make our lives agreeable, but is the concept of sacrificing time for money a corrupted/cultural construct? Our essential nature often seems misdirected by degraded forms of value (monetary).

My old sketchbooks heavily feature sketches of commuters captured from real life – on a train, at the station, buses etc; the faces of whom often suggest they’d rather be going anywhere other than ‘work’.

I certainly don’t claim to have answers to all of my concerns. I do wonder, though, if perhaps creatives (not me) should be involved more heavily in leadership discussions/decisions. Creatives often possess the very unique ability to think a little differently, and effectively problem solve.

James Green Artist

James Green Art