"In a world where visual information can reach our eyes at the touch of a button, the ability to be truly mesmerised can become thin, as well as our capacity to be truly astonished by it."
Nigel Hurlstone, Programme Leader of the BA(Hons) Embroidery course at Manchester School of Art*, in his introduction to the degree show catalogue.
I often wonder about this. Am I taking the trouble to view things through my own eyes, with my own perspective? Do I pursue the truthfulness of what things mean to me and only to me?
"As teachers of art and design, we encourage our students to see for themselves, and not to be dependent on the vision of others to drive personal expression."
In seeking true originality I need to return to the disciplines I learnt at art school, to fathom out what my own response is, to produce something that comes from the heart of who I am. This is something I feel more and more serious about recently. It is all too easy to experience a sort of vicarious creativity through the alluringly beautiful open windows of artists' blogs and Flickr. After a while a numbness forms.
What are your experiences of this? What do you do to ensure you stay true to your own vision? I would love to hear.
Photos are from York Gate garden near Leeds which we visited today, along with an indulgent trip to Betty's in Ilkley and a lazy sprawl on the grass watching a game of village cricket in the sunshine. Red Kites soaring in the sky. Lovely summer Sunday.
*(This is the course I graduated from twenty-one years ago.)