I recently attended a very interesting art exhibition. My thinking was stimulated by this visual experience. I began to identify connections, considering the relationship between what I had viewed and what I observe and experience in the world around me. One’s perception is one’s reality. What I perceived and how I thought about the art exhibited and the artist’s intention may be entirely different; however I believe the artist’s intention was to stimulate thought and that certainly occurred.
The artist’s use of an established medium in conjunction with an emerging form of technology prompted my thinking that adults are currently parenting and teaching young people in a different psychosocial environment. This is an entirely new context in which those who are rearing and educating youth may be drawing on parenting patterns and educational strategies established by earlier generations but must now respond to emerging issues and challenges not previously encountered.
Contrasts created by the positioning of coloured images alongside monotone images prompted thinking about the need for cognitive flexibility. There is a need to shift between colourful, creative, innovative thought to factual knowledge, practical skills and strategic actions that must accompany innovative thought if there is to be implementation of new ideas and necessary advancement in various fields. Likewise, the juxtaposition of the fluid lines of historical, classical images with sharp, modern lines stimulated thinking about earlier, classical disciplines of thinking that emerged from ancient classical Greek (Socratic Questioning comes to mind) and Roman times in contrast with modern requirements for precision in technological developments and the accuracy required for binary coding.
Images created by placing static statues and structures close to moving human forms reminded me that the creation of architectural and functional forms must take into account the unpredictable and changing needs of the humans who will use these structures and utilities. The frequent use of plants by the artist, especially when an eye peeped between the fronds of a palm, emphasised to this viewer that we live in, impact upon, and are impacted by our natural environment. This was a timely reminder of the interrelationship of humans with our environment; the need to be mindful of how all that we do may impact our shared environment, in the future.
The recurring use of mirrors, reflecting other forms within the images displayed, drew attention to the constant need for reflection; for individuals to become self-aware; to perceive ourselves and what we are doing from another’s perspective. As a result of this ongoing reflection, there is a requirement to make adjustments to behaviour as a result of increased self-awareness. Parenting, teaching and interacting with others is constantly challenging, especially as we encounter emerging issues; however reflective thinking and flexible responses provide positive opportunities for the future.
© Michele Juratowitch