Maoists had their ‘Little Red Book’. Evolutionary naturalists have ‘On The Origin Of Species’. Now, I have my very own manifesto.
I am carrying it around perpetually and I have given away my first copy. In fact, I’ve pestered Amazon to give me cut price postage on a mass order so I can offer it to all of my friends/enemies/mild acquaintances, as it reflects off my glasses, like red pills, crushed and distilled into printed form (and turned green).
It is called ‘Art Needs No Justification’. It is by Hans R. Rookmaaker.
I know I’m a bit behind, as usual, as it’s been around for a while (in fact, it was published in the year of my birth). However, it is a veritable gold mine of wisdom for Christian artists. And it’s only 63 pages long. And it was reprinted a few years back in a tidy little edition that fits neatly into your coat’s inside pocket (so you can carry it around close to your heart, and whip it out when you’re standing on a soapbox in your town centre, quoting passages from it loudly and waving it around).
And, although Amazon are too entrenched in the Matrix to acquiesce to my postage deal, it actually only costs £4 or so from one of their minion bookshops (including postage) so you can get it yourself.
I am assuming that you have the good sense to ignore zippy’s ridiculous 1 star review. If you wish to consider it however, balance it with the 9/5 review that I am giving it here, which would give St Hans’ masterpiece an overall average of 5 stars.
If you choose not to buy it, but continue checking out this website- be warned! Whenever the Sputnik team run out of ideas for new posts, I will simply be quoting large chunks of this book until I have used up its 63 pages of excellence, or until zippy repents (or reveals that she is actually a pseudonym for Agent Smith after all).
Anyway, for starters check this out…
‘… art should not be compared with preaching. The best work of art would still be bad preaching. It may be compared with teaching, but the teacher often has to speak of mathematics, geography, history, botany and sometimes, even if rarely, about religion. But the best comparison is maybe with the plumbing.
Just as plumbing is totally indispensable in our homes, yet we are rarely aware of it, so art fulfils an important function in our lives, in creating the atmosphere in which we live, in giving us the words to speak, in offering us the framework in which we can see and grasp things, say a landscape, even without our noticing it. Art is rarely propaganda, but it has been very influential in shaping the thought-forms of our times, the values people cherish. So the mentality that speaks out in art is important. Its greatest influence is maybe right there where it is most like plumbing, where we are not aware of it.’
So, buy this book and keep working on those pipes. We’re heating the whole house people!
Jonny Mellor is a rapper, a writer, and the director of Sputnik.