Illustration: Morning Moon by John Hopper, 2014.
Personal perspective is always of prime importance to the artist. How an individual artist views the world around them, and how that individual artist then interprets that view through their work, is one of the fundamentals of the creative world, always has been, and always will be.
However, it would be right to say that there is an infinity of perspectives. This viewpoint becomes more apparent when you realise the true scope of perspective. To confine perspective to the human experience for example, is to realise the narrowness of our perspective as a species. When perspective is widened to the experience of all creatures, regardless of species, and then widened even more to include earth, sky, water, perspective becomes infinitely broad, and complex, with each perspective being one facet of a multi-faceted jewel that is life in its entirety.
If you then bring everything back down to the one human experience, the one individual perspective, important as that is, as are all perspectives, it can be seen that that uniqueness is one but one flavour, one subtle taste of the staggering complexity of the lifer force that is us all.
Illustration: Midday Moon by John Hopper, 2014.
What can be seen from this is that no perspective has precedence over another; all have equal value, no matter how oppositional they may at first appear to that of our own perspective.
There is a school of thought that says that without perspective nothing exists, that perspective is existence and lack of perspective is a lack of existence. This implies that the unique experience of any entity whether it be rock, dragonfly, water, tree, human, is capable of projecting an environment as they perceive it through their unique experience, and that consequently every entity produces a unique and individual world that they inhabit.
So if in many respects perspective is the individual, what happens when you change your perspective, as many do, are you then a different individual. If you change your perspective a number of times over your life path, are you then a series of individuals with unique perspectives that occupy the same life?
As there is perhaps no such thing as an absolute truth, there is perhaps no such thing as an absolute perspective, just a complexity of experience, an interweaving of every entity's perspective, producing a delicate web, a web that gives the potential for an infinite number of interchangeable experiences.
Illustration: Evening Moon by John Hopper, 2014.
This potential for the sharing of experience can perhaps best be summed up in the old story of the man dreaming that he is a butterfly. When he wakes he wonders whether he had been dreaming that he was a butterfly, or is he a butterfly that is now dreaming of being a human. Each perspective, butterfly or human are of equal worth and of equal value, they are just different perspectives on their own worlds.
Of course, if you disagree with what I have just written, which would be the world seen from my perspective, then your disagreement would be part of your own unique perspective. However, agreeing, partially of fully, could also be part of your perspective. Whatever the outcome, your full perception of the world is your own. It is part of your life journey and should never be considered of less importance than that of another.
The life of a creative artist is complex and multi-layered, but it is one that should always contain the element of sensitivity, the sensitivity to understand that there is always more than one perspective, always more than one way of seeing the world. To be able to place yourself in the realm of a butterfly, or the realm of a bird, ocean, sky, tree, or fellow human is to understand empathy. To try to see through the perspective of another is a step towards that ultimate sharing of experience, the ultimate infinity of perspectives.
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