Posted By on May 23, 2011 | 0 comments


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Innovation and Contemporary Art: not that dissimilar

There is a new contemporary art space that has just opened at the Art Gallery of NSW and has been put together by the donation of

Friends of mine have visited and have come back with a few questions along the lines of “How do we understand contemporary art?” followed by “because I didn’t understand anything!” A great explanation of contemporary art is on the AGNSW website:

Simply put, contemporary art is the art of our time. However, it can be difficult to define specifically as what it means to be ‘contemporary’ changes with each day – what is modern to us will be history to future generations.Contemporary art is a label, not a single movement. It can be seen as a myriad of new approaches to art that have developed since the 1960s. Contemporary artists take art beyond the traditional forms of drawing, painting and sculpture and embrace new mediums and technologies.

My questions to my friends were:

  • Did the show make you feel anything?
  • Did it make you think differently?
  • Did you get out of your comfort zone?
  • Were you challenged at all?
  • Did you do something you don’t normally do?

The answer to all of the questions was yes so even if you didn’t understand anything,  the experience is a success. Regardless of what they were immediately able to comprehend, there were plenty of positive benefits.

The big challenge companies face with innovation and the creativity that drives it is the ability to do something different to make it happen.  To be challenged, be out of your comfort zone, to think differently and do something that they wouldn’t normally do. Doing the same thing you have always done is easy but it rarely delivers results. Does that mean that companies have to visit art galleries to drive innovation? It certainly would be a great thing to do but the key is to do anything that will challenge,  get people out of their comfort zone and stir emotions. Innovation, like the new exhibition at the AGNSW is contemporary. Having the same meetings in the same boardroom just wont work.  Its about embracing new media and technologies. Its about embracing a myriad of new approaches. It is taking things beyond the traditional approach. Innovation is alive.

And my best advice to look at contemporary art? (and you don’t want to read anything about it)  Look at it, if you like it – great! If you don’t like it – great as well!  Turn off the bossy LHS of your brain that needs to make immediate sense of everything and just enjoy (liking and disliking). Its a great day out.

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