Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ways of seeing

0705 book cover
Originally uploaded by rooruu.
Picked this book up at an op shop, for the title and the cover design (it's a Readers' Digest compilation). Nice synergy between the book cover and the background (another Amy Butler scrapbook paper - I still have some of the similar quilting fabric).

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.


meggie said...

I often think of this & perhaps that is my 'grannie's role'...
I try to point out the small details, & patterns, of all sorts of plants, fruit, insects to my grandchildren. In this busy world, so many parents are in such a hurry all the time.

candyschultz said...

I have never heard of that book but I just ordered it. I think I am good at seeing patterns in everything but I do not think children are taught to do it. Everything is driven by technology these days. At least around here.