Seeing differently. Experimental Making with M.Atavar

Sometimes our eyes get tired, views get boring and even bright things become blurry… Has that happened to you?  In the third session of Experimental Making with Creative Guru Michael Atavar we examined the ways in which familiar things can be seeing in a new manner. Indeed, in his great book 12Rules of Creativity, Michael suggests to create new ways of seeing things, proposing boundaries or instructions, and diving into the familiar with the zest of the adventurer. With this in mind I went to one of our National Trust favorite houses: Claydon House, the home of the Verney Family closely associated with Florence Nightingale.  We have been here several times, and it is never tiring, albeit the attention tends to go to the familiar places and objects. So I decided to focus on something completely different, namely “Frames”.  This is part of my evolution as artist, and also a good way to keep on my drawing practice, and the results are rather revealing.

Frames are as important as the objects themselves, and they can become interesting items on their own right. I noticed that by diverting my attention toward the frames I could take a different focus. For instance, displacing the centrality of an object toward the edges, or capturing little details that get hidden because of a window or a flower arrangement normally located a the center. This also happens when we are too attached to something, an idea, an opinion, a “vote”… we stop seeing what is around it!

Most importantly, I felt that by shifting my attention I could see other possibilities: the exquisite detail of a frame of a door in a mixture of Chinese and Rococo Style; the symbolic aspects of the plaster depicting a lion and a dolphin;  the frame in which the figure of Florence Nightingale was enshrined; or the intricate design of door panels. This happened also in some of the exercises proposed by Michael, in which we are invited to reorganise objects by size or color or by any other organizing principle. In truth, this can be also applied to many other aspects of life: problem solving, analysis, and in general, this “seeing differently” can help us to overcome obstacles. In a time like now, where the political climate and the crisis triggered by Brexit seem to overwhelm us with either extreme optimism or darker thoughts, it is always good to remember that seeing things differently can indeed take us to an interesting journey. Although I voted Remain, I think that there is not a chance for a second referendum, as it would reinforce the stereotypes and divisions. as we say in spanish. Al hecho, pecho, meaning, we take responsibility and find creative ways to respond to it. Perhaps we are looking so much at the object, and not noticing the fringes or frames here…




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