Sunday, August 4, 2013

Braking for beauty (slow down and see)

Turner, Chichester Canal (c. 1828; in the Tate)

Jennifer L. Roberts (Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard ) recommends that we "decelerate," deploy "strategic patience," and thereby better understand the world around us through close, unwavering scrutiny.  (Click here and here for more). 

The lobster and the canary could not agree more with Professor Roberts.  We've written at length about "the artisanal turn," the need to restore craft, the tactile, the tacit to our work and play (click here) -- the deep patience required to visualize, to shape, to enjoy, to be satisfied.  Decelerated education, Slow Food, DIY, hand-made this and organic that...they are all of a piece with the braking for beauty.  

Above all, to highlight Roberts's insight, we need to engage with what we see, and to do that we need to look, focus, look.  Fall upward into the painting, let the frame expand and disappear, travel with the collier on the canal, listen to the warblers in the bankside reeds, savor the sunlight reflected from cloud and rill...

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