Essential for mankind, comparing with the animal world, is meaning, in the sense of purpose or significance (not in the statistical sense!). In all our actions and thoughts and relations we maintain and perceive such meaning. There is a permanent struggle for meaning, its quantity, its quality, its interpretation. Permanent in the sense, on-going in all times, as I do not assume that this world is more or less 'empty', with more or less meaning, than periods in the past. And a struggle, as we are never entirely sure about that meaning, we have to communicate permanently with others to seek and get assurance on what is really meant.
Do the plastic arts play a role here? Is the perception and appreciation of the work of art somehow linked to (the interpretation) of meaning? Does visualization facilitate the creation or development or even destruction of meaning? Does it allow unlocking parts of the consciousness, the sub-consciousness, or even the heart, to that end?
Each work of art is a dialogue with the observer, Hegel said. A dialogue about meaning. What meaning did the artist have in mind when he was painting? Did he really manage to create or express this meaning ? Or is it also for him more a sub-conscious process? And how do we react, as an individual, to that meaning? Do we understand it? Or will we always give it an entirely different and highly subjective interpretation? We recreate our own meaning. In this way, the arts contribute to the richness of life and society.