[Helena Ospina is Executive Director of PROMESA (Promotora de Medios de Comunicacion, S. A.) y Catedratica de Literarura de la Facultad de Letras en Universidad de Costa Rica. Ha sido miembro fundador de la misma Facultad (1974) y profesora de Lengua Inglesa y Francesa en la Universidad de los Andes en Santafé de Bogotá. Forma parte del equipo de Arvo.net. Envía el texto que sigue, animada por lo leído de Barbara Nicolosi, presentando sus convicciones y líneas de trabajo artístico. Bienvenida! JJGN]
Barbara Nicolosi’s exulting confession “I am an artist!” made me confirm certain insights in creativity. Reading Nicolosi’s papers in Santa Croce University’s Rome Permanent Seminar on Poetics & Christianity has stirred all the emotions and convictions hidden in my heart. To have another artist as Nicolosi so outspoken and confident in her vocation, encompassing not only her personal quest but handing out a professional hand to others (by helping them craft their inner vision) is remarkable!
My personal field is poetry. When I started in 1991 the Poetry Collection (50 titles published so far) in PROMESA (a Cultural Enterprise founded in 1982 by my husband), everybody told me poetry doesn’t sell. It was out of reach and destined to special palates in rapid extinction! My personal conviction is that one must make way for beauty in all of its manifestations. I cannot choose to change my talent. It is what it is. It is given. I can increase it or let it dormant. I can wrap it up and keep it closed in my individual self or try to communicate it to others. The latter is what I am doing with a small group of artists who study the potential expressiveness of the poetic image and explore it in the fields of music, ballet, photography, painting, drama… We call this project: “Interrelating the Arts”.
Mankind thirsts for Beauty! It awaits its epiphany! The Creator’s “vision” awaited Michelangelo’s “image” at the Sixtine Chapel as John Paul II says in his poetry book “Roman Triptych”. But creativity has to be protected. It belongs to a certain ecology of the sprit. Otherwise the world will devastate the inner spiritual lime it needs to be able to breathe. Fortunately some artistic manifestations, such as music, are not limited by language barriers. Beauty is able to transcend human communicative limitations. Just as ideologies divide, beauty unites. It allows a gentle and smooth path to truth and goodness.
I loved Nicolosi’s sense of reality when she mentions she began her doctoral studies in Theology, but decided to go back to her home-base: The Arts! She says she is neither a philosopher nor a theologian! I have always believed an artist has the gift and privilege of a marvelous “shortcut” to being, beauty and goodness. What a philosopher tries to reflect in volumes of aesthetics, a poet in a diamond-cut verse can convey a whole treatise.
This has been my experience with the poetic trilogy The Splendor of Beauty, which sprung from 1990 to 1997.
When I published Ars poetica in 1991 (25 poems to celebrate my silver wedding anniversary and Georgetown University graduation www.arvo.net), I had the impression I had said everything I had to say about creativity. Then came Poiein because I felt the need to portray what the poet’s craft is. Then El Verbo y el alma (Dialogues between The Logos and soul), spelled out the certainty that a poet doesn’t “invent”, but carry out “a song” which he carries within. What the poet does is unravel it in an attempt to sing it and be faithful to it throughout his life. The first chord of the trilogy was struck: Splendor formae!
In 1995 Edith Stein’s reading of The Science of The Cross came as an epilogue to my mother’s death and a prelude to my cancer in 1998 and 1999. Suffering –“sweet sorrow” as I call it in Double Sunrise (A Journey Through Cancer)- helps the artist discover the “priesthood” of art. It is a kingly, royal service endowed with a special tonality that consoles the heart. True art has that wonderful quality! The second blow of the trilogy was born: Splendor Personae!
Finally came Alfonso Lopez Quintas’ readings in aesthetics. The culmination of the trilogy was reached: Splendor gloriae! The artist’s spousal alliance with Beauty.
An artist has a way to deal with philosophic and theological truths in a gentle manner, surpassed only by a child and saint!