18 Sep 2023

The incredible power of art


Over decades of studies, experiencing art in-person has been associated with measurable positive outcomes in wellbeing and mental health.

Enjoying, viewing and experiencing art offers a widely-accessible, cost-effective, and non-pharmaceutical means of regulating factors such as mood or anxiety. These benefits can be felt in the home and workplace through the ownership of art.

“Life beats down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.” - Stella Adler

Reducing anxiety and stress

A research study in Norway examined how art benefits a person�s health. It found that viewing art resulted in reduced rates of anxiety and depression, and higher satisfaction with one�s life.

The study surveyed 50,000 people, concluding that viewing art provided much of the same health benefits as creating it. Simply looking at art can cause increases in dopamine (the 'pleasure� hormone), to be released. This helps to reduce stress, and in turn leads to lowered rates of anxiety and depression.

Improve cognitive thought

The process of finding art you enjoy, and that you wish to collect, can be a process of self-discovery, and also be inspirational.

Art tells a story. A story you have to look for and uncover by yourself, allowing you to get a sense of how you see the world, and where you find beauty and solace.

Original art has had time, skill, storytelling and/or emotion poured into its creation. When you invest in a piece of art, you invest in something that will stir thoughts and emotions in you. The right piece can offer so much more meaning than something simply bought to 'match the couch�.

In fact, research suggests that engaging with art could improve memory, and is being trialled to help people with Alzheimer�s disease stay connected to their memories.

Human connection

Art is also something that connects us with others. Each brushstroke is a creative expression by the artist, and can act as a window - or gateway, connecting us to the emotions of the artist whilst they created the work.

Art starts conversations: The silent communication that passes from artist - to art - to viewer is a form of subtle connection. The viewer is asked to interpret meaning for themselves, rather than having it spelled out for them with the clarity of words. And thus, admirers may find different emotions and meaning behind the same piece of work.

The benefits of art in the workplace

Research by the National Arts Program found that people were 17 per cent more productive when they were in a workplace that featured art, compared to a workplace that featured no art.

According to research by the British Council for Offices in 2013, 61 per cent of employees said artwork inspired them to think and work more creatively.

We should not be surprised because art enables positive, cognitive distraction and creates spaces that are both active and connective. It engages staff, helping them to think beyond the four walls that surround them.

Not only can a company�s art collection become a talking point amongst its staff, it is also a visual representation of the company�s values and style. This can easily be understood and absorbed by visitors and prospective clients.

By supporting emerging artists, a company can also act as a patron, supporting the creative economy at a time when it is under increasing strain. Forward-thinking companies can bridge the gap between the corporate and creative worlds.

Of course, buying the right pieces can also act as a future investment for a company, and art is also claimable as a worthy business expense.

"Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by colour, and light, we do know this: that they have an actual physical effect.” - Florence Nightingale

Can digital art on screens give the same benefits and impact as physical art?

Online and digital technology might offer a solution to further empower the use of the arts in health and wellbeing formats. Today, art viewing, cultural engagements, and trips to art galleries can take place via computers, tablets, smartphones and even virtual reality.

At the same time, a long-running argument in especially art-critical - and more recently - psychological studies, finds that art is best experienced in person, to give its full effect and impact.

Digital formats or other reproductions lose the necessary aspects of immediacy, ambiance, level of engagement or importance. Even the size of an artwork has an effect.

Studies have suggested that art, especially in digital formats, when compared to in-person viewing, may lead to lower ratings of pleasure, interest, approval, time spent viewing, or even positive emotion or arousal. All of which are important for wellbeing benefits.

A constant in a changing world

Over the past few years, there have been many monumental shifts in the art world - and indeed the world in general; how we work, and choose to spend our spare time.

Post-pandemic, many of us are now working from home, and spending more and more time immersed in the digital world. Alongside this, the art world has recently seen the dawning of AI Art and non-physical NFTs.

Numerous studies have concluded time and again that experiencing art in its original physical form, close-up and for long periods give the most positive experience and benefits. And this should be celebrated and encouraged in a world where more and more of our lives are spent viewing pixels on screens.

In regards to buying art, physical art is also one of the most consistent performers for investors to get a return on their investments. This reliability can be shown over decades, despite changes in trends and market turbulence.

Let Lux help you

Please get in touch if you�d like us to help assist you with finding the right artwork for your home or office. We have access to - and knowledge about - a far wider range of artworks than we can physically hold at the gallery at any one time.

We will be very happy to help source artwork that you can love, and will inspire you or your colleagues for years to come.

Please contact us if you wish to know more about mood, colour schemes, branding, investment, or commission/bespoke pieces.