The poet John Donne once wrote that ‘in heaven, it is always autumn’ – as if rebirth into life everlasting awaits yet another temporal transition. And in the same way that Donne refuses to perceive finality in a soul’s journey, art must always be poised for its renaissance. Art is fundamentally committed to evolution, with rebirth serving as a means to further chrysalis. To invest one’s creative energy into pursuing rebirth is to imagine the capacities of the self to create the future.
“While the interlocking relationship between rebirth, art and creativity has existed since antiquity, it has perhaps become more urgent to interrogate in relation to modern life.”
Struck by the ephemera of our digital age, it is now common for artists to merely reflect its thrust – suppressing uniqueness and the creative spirit. Rebirth cannot exist within this landscape, and among endless swathes of imagery, many contemporary artmaking practices eschew the fundamental goal of the artistic self. In other words, given creativity is an inherently dynamic force and that engagements with art in the twenty-first are often stagnant, it remains incumbent upon an artist to uphold originality and resist temptation to the superficial. An artist must question the supposed aesthetic of modernity and instead imagine possibilities of what could be.
To recentre the value of artistic rebirth is to recognise the fundamental force of creativity and its desire to continually refine. Rebirth ought never mark an artist’s final destination – rather, it signals their awareness for the profound potentials of transformation, the unremitting possibilities of making something distinct, and indeed, something greater.