Art at present impacts just a few and of our world changes very little. For many of us it is a mildly interesting, occasionally decorative and harmless activity of little or no consequence. Despite the enthusiasm of certain individuals for its distractions, art cannot be said to play much of a role in the appetites and ambitions of contemporary civilisation.

It was not always this way.

Divine terror, this is how Plato describes the effect of poetry on the psyche of an individual. In his world and to his mind poetry was dangerous, poets themselves such disruptive and unsettling influences as to threaten the institution and survival of his precious republic. Art in antiquity had that potential, that authority. It mattered. It meant and did something.