In last week's post, I posited a difference between "looking" and "seeing." I suggested that seeing leads to a more in-depth experience whereas looking feels more superficial. However, when you combine "looking" with "slow," as Clothier has done, it grows closer to "seeing." When we slow down enough to sit and look at a work of art, bringing more attention and awareness to it, something entirely different occurs than when we speed-walk through a gallery or museum, efficiently taking in what's on display, and moving on. Some people have dubbed the kind of seeing I'm advocating as "contemplative engagement" or "mindful art viewing."
Questions and Comments
Try Clothier's "slow looking" by spending a half-hour, even 15 minutes, looking at only one work of art or one tree, vase of flowers, insect, building, or other item that you're interested in exploring. Look at all the details, moving your eyes from the center out, around the edges, and so on. Then close your eyes and notice what you remember. Open your eyes and look again. Did your mind capture what's there?
What did you learn from this experiment?