‘Beauty looks after herself.’
People have for ages felt the need to preserve that which they value. We look for stability and balance. Beauty looks after herself, as Eric Gill said. We are prepared to invest an enormous amount of resources, energy and time towards achieving our goals and leaving something which will speak to contemporary witnesses as well as to future generations.
There can be lasting ideals of beauty – ones which transcend the whims of fashion, partly because of their innate beauty but also because they are familiar and we can relate to them and understand them. In short we are comfortable with them. There is also a rather special quality and serenity about something that has endured so long, and has spoken to so many people.
There is a need for things of lasting beauty. Yet we also have a very strong need to change things. The act and significance of making new things are manifold. Whatever we do now changes the meaning of what has been before, and what comes after.