Perspective and Humanism in Art
Last Wednesday I found myself in Sansepolcro, a town situated in eastern Tuscany, within the Province of Arezzo and famously known as the birthplace of the Painter Piero Della Francesca, credited for creating Perspective and Humanism in his visual art.
Within the historic centre, I entered a building, I turned right and walked up the first flight of stairs where I caught glimpse of a chair propped against a door. A dim winter light landed on the chair from the left and in that single moment something changed my mood. I just needed to take a photograph to capture the feeling of melancholy that had bathed itself over me.
I was immersed in thoughts of my father, then my life, then time. The chair had evoked so many emotions. The building was medieval and many lives had passed through, maybe even Piero had once entered the building.
There were four chairs in the building, each on different floors. Each was bathed in a strange energy, the mood created by the light and the shadows. I wanted to take a photo and the chair was the excuse, it opened a channel of thoughts in my head. There were many and a couple of days on, the thoughts are still randomly coming through. The predominant thought is to find a way to increase my ability to learn and improve myself and to try and be aware of my reason for doing and for being.
As a photographer I had spent the last few years thinking of projects and trying to equate them to books, or maybe an exhibition seeking a form of recognition. I have recently questioned this thought pattern and I believe that this change has been prompted by my move and change of martial art direction and trying to develop my internal and more spiritual path of practice.
By removing a desire for recognition or praise I think that this has moved me in some way to increasing the quality and integrity of what can be achieved by following my heart and being honest to myself. I feel that in some way I’m starting to feel guided by the soul of a project in a natural way. The removal of fame eliminates a worthless quality from the execution and the focus somehow becomes more true or real.
I do feel extremely critical of what I do and of the work that I produce but these negative feelings I think have a positive effect on helping me improve, they help me to constantly seek perfection but with accepting that perfection is a goal that can never be achieved.
So then what is the purpose of creating and developing work? Maybe this is to satisfy a desire for creation, personal development and documenting something that is so important that you make yourself a vessel to leave something behind which may or may not be important, useful or beautiful. But it is there and if by chance it tells a story that is worth telling, then someone will find it.
Because of the chair I stopped and rested my thoughts, I sat down, I slowed down I paused for a moment, I acknowledge some things that were playing on my mind. Dear Chair I thank you for letting me rest and giving me strength to move on with new vigour and clearer direction.
Upon returning and three days on, my mood has deepened and I’m aware that somehow I have let gremlins take over my thoughts. In my quest to improve I have become over taken with feelings of insecurity, it’s almost in my heightened sense of awareness I am now finding fault in everything I am doing, the quality of my imagery and also my martial skills. Last night my mind was filled with crazy doubt in everything I do and everything I am.
This morning, while doing my standing postures, I started to seek tension and awareness of things happening in my body, seeking to open my joints, I started to feel some clarity and in this awareness, I started to feel that I am in control. I have acknowledged and am trying to understand that change of resistance / focus / failure response is not an entity it is nothing but an opportunity to improve and better myself and by trying not to take part in the mayhem that has clouded my mind and placing myself as the observer of my thoughts, I am finding a calm place to work out the answers to some of my problems.