More than one way of seeing

'Portrait in Gallery'

'Portrait'

Exhibition fever has died down a little but I haven’t yet shown you all the pieces that were in the show. This one then, is a most recent piece and is both the outline of a face and an upright figure standing with arms up in the air. I have to blow my own trumpet for once and speak of my contribution to this piece.

My husband was sketching and had come up with an idea for a new steel figure with arms outstretched. He had placed it on the kitchen table, I could see the figure but I also saw a profile of a face. Excited by this he quickly did a few more sketches altering the shapes slightly and here we are.

It has just reminded me of those clever pschological test where there is an image of something but can also be something else, an old lady and a young woman in one, a vase or two people, you know the ones I mean?

It’s know as the Gestalt effect and is the “form-generating capability of our senses” more often with the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. The other thing it makes me think about is that sometimes we can see things one way and it may work out in another. My husband was just telling me a story about that very same idea this evening. Forgive me, I will paraphrase and hope it still has the same effect:

A woman makes her income from knitting to support her young family. One day on the way to market a bird pinches her knitting and flies off with it. The woman is beside herself so she goes to see a wise and learned man. She tells him how God is unfair and of her story.

At the same moment there is a knock on the door. A man enters, apologies for the interruption but insists that he has money from him and his men that needs to be distributed to the poor. He explains that they were out at sea and their boat had a hole. They had tried every way of filling it but to no avail, when a bird flew over head and dropped a pile of knitting in the boat. The men managed to block their hole in the boat with this knitting and so out of thankfulness each man wanted to donate some money to those who needed it more than they.

I feel I need not add the punch line. Sometimes things happen to us, we may see it one way but in reality it is meant for us in another.

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