Henry David Thoreau has claimed, ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’. It is easy to glance upon something but are we truly perceiving it, seeing it in all its potential? To gaze deeper is to think about what it is you are really looking at. It asks us to look again, to see afresh.
We know how we see in the logical sense; light hits our retinas, photoreceptors cells turn the light into electrical signals, travelling through the optic nerve, thus computing back to our brains. Yet sight has more than one factor, to step outside ourselves into someone else’s shoes is our first step to seeing the world around us. In the name of science one way to collect data is to use those who may not have previous knowledge of the subject. This creates an impartial viewpoint. This is an important fact to consider, we need to put aside preconceived notions we may have, therefore opening our minds to the views of others.
Often in life people rush from place to place, always running against the clock. Everything is instantaneous, from our work lives to answering texts and socials. Everything is NOW! Yet because of this, we miss out on experiences that pass us by during these busy moments. We must learn to take a breath and realise there is beauty to be found in the world around us.
Traces of our humanity scatters behind us hiding in plain sight. Each piece of rubbish, lost article of clothing or the act of marking a surface not intended to be marked, leaves behind traces of our presence as humans. Despite most passing these traces each day, without so much as a backward glance, I believe there is an immense amount of beauty to be found in our everyday life. It is the presence of our humanity.
The photo essay below captures the mundane through the eye of the camera lens, creating a deeper response to the visual.