Sunday, May 20, 2007
Ways of seeing
Living as an art. Hmmm. Today's effort would be doing volunteer work, I guess (editorial work on guild newsletter).
Had an interesting conversation with some creative friends this week. They were looking through one of yesterday's quilt journals, and I remarked on how a tiled floor had inspired a quilt. That, to them, was a different way of seeing, that a quilt could be found in a tiled floor. What, they said, you saw the floor and saw a quilt? Um, yes, I said - it was a great design for a quilt. They gave me The Look, their quilts come from quilts. I do ithis,all the time, as I suspect other quilters do too - this book cover has all sorts of potential, from the typography to the leaves as a whole, individual leaves with their parallel lines, the colours.... I'm equally sure these friends find patterns in the world in ways I don't and don't even think of and would find by turns bewildering, astounding and amusing and fascinating.
I first read John Berger's book, Ways of Seeing, when I was at uni, and it still comes back to me (and is still on my bookshelves) as a revelation and inspiration. We live in a visually busy world, and yet I wonder how many kids are being shown how to see it, challenged to see in in different ways so they can understand it more fully. Given time to slow down enough to see and absorb, taught to see depth, not just surface.