the serious pleasure of doing something for its own sake

 
Like religion, art offers an alternative value system; it asks us to see differently, think differently, challenging ourselves, and the way we live.  Most importantly, art is a continual reminder that the money and celebrity scrabble of the modern world can be countered by the serious pleasure of doing something for its own sake.  The old-fashioned word ‘love’ is appropriate here.  Real writers, painters, musicians, do want they do because they love what they do.  The money is secondary. We are often dazzled by the media circus surrounding the arts, but behind all that, going on as it ever did, is the intent and endeavour of the artist, an intent and endeavour that we share when we choose to read, or look at pictures or go to the theatre, and so on.  The twenty-four emergency zone that we call real life saps our energies.  Art renews those energies because it allows us an experience of active meditation.  The energies of the artwork cross-current into us.  It is a transfusion of a kind, and if this has religious overtones, it doesn’t matter.  Nobody need be nervous about a connection between art and religion.  All of life is connected and our deepest experiences, whether of faith or love or art will share similar qualities.

– Jeanette Winterson


Source – http://www.jeanettewinterson.com


[My emphasis]