What’s your perspective?

I apologize for the late post today, but all the better.  I’ve had all day to think, and all day I’ve been thinking about (in a nutshell) perspective.

We all have our points of view, and most of us have points of view that are limiting and limited.  We believe we know a lot about what’s possible and what’s probable – even what’s advisable.  In my world today, I realized that my perspective has been turned on its ear.  What is bad is good.  What is tragic is magical.  How did that happen?  When did this occur?

I’m actually not sure.  While you’re scratching your head and wondering just what the hell I’m talking about, allow me to make my point with illustrations.

Perspective – the kind that relates most directly to art, which is a topic we kind of like to talk about around here – is something most of us learn a bit about in grade school (if we’re lucky enough to have had art in grade school, which, sadly many children these days do not).  It goes a little something like this:

If you want your landscapes to look “real,” there’s a technique involved, namely, that objects get smaller as they approach the horizon.  Once you’ve got that basic point down, you can start to play with it.

M.C. Escher is legendary for his ability to whimsically play with perspective:

But let’s think about the applications of this concept.  Home decor?

For those days when you have to take a monster crap.

(Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.)

Scrapbooking the kids? (click on the photo for more!)

A most appropriate example:

Where are you?  Hmmm… yes, a very good question.  See, where you are very much affects what you see.  (Any guess about how big those blocks actually are?)

A good illustration of the above point:

This is where the discussion starts to get really interesting.  I don’t know how many of you have literal minds like I do.  I tend to like to think there’s a “right” way to do things, although I like to think I’m not so inflexible as to believe there’s only one right way to do things.  I also like to believe, by extension, that there’s a right way to see things.  This is a bit more difficult because this is an idea that most of us take so much for granted, we aren’t even aware we believe it.  Or more accurately, we aren’t even aware that it exists in our belief structure… so it’s difficult to approach it, to challenge it, to understand that what we take as a given is not actually… true.  There are many different ways to see things, and it all depends on where you stand.

Now I’m going to show you the really fun stuff.  Click each image to see more work from the artist – really amazing stuff.

The artists who create these magnificent pieces do something that I can scarcely comprehend.  They are able to understand what something will look like from a given vantage point while working from a completely different point of view.  These are photos of the first two works above, taken from the “wrong” perspective:

If you look from the wrong perspective, it all falls apart.  Or does it?  When life starts looking like a mess, when we see what we cannot comprehend, is it possible to find a new perspective?  Maybe we’re just standing in a place where we can’t see the full picture.  If we can’t find that magical spot where everything somehow makes sense, might we learn to trust that it exists even so? How might we contemplate what’s before us?  Is it possible that there is always a purpose in what we observe? Is it just a matter of discovering how to look… so that we can truly see?

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5 Responses

  1. Brilliant post Amy – definitely food for thought.

  2. What a thought provoking read. I know when I’m out with my camera, I always gravitate to taking photos of the’ whole’- the big picture, yet the photos I admire most, are those that leave the viewer to do some of the work and to fill in some of the details. I’m going to think about how to see the world differently when out with my camera and see if can find different perspectives too.

  3. Profound and absolute.

    My perspective of the things and life seems to be changing daily, lately. How interesting that I check your blog at this moment? I’m starting to believe that nothing is an accident. I know you know this to be true too.

  4. I LOVE all those photos!! Makes me want to redo my bathroom!!

  5. Oh wow! What a brilliant post Amy!

    I personally don’t think there’s a “wrong” perspective. It’s just different at different points in time depending on how we feel and how “much” we want to see.

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