Learning to See

Beauty is the most fundamental of human existence. Beauty is what truly makes one authentic. Beauty is what binds us to the external world. Beauty is what creates culture-the architecture, the music, the artifacts, various dance forms and agriculture and off course knowledge. Senses are our doors to knowledge and beauty.

what  is  fundamental  to  any  culture  is  its  sense  of  beauty.  
Even though seeing is the most natural act as of now seeing doesn’t happen as we are full of theories. Seeing requires us to be present. True seeing also awakens our aesthetic sense. Beauty can help us to move away from the egoistic reasoning mind.

Various elements that are the building factor in awakening the aesthetic sense will be explored experientially from the daily context of the learner’s life.
This workshop would be meditative, self reflective and experiential with focus on keen observation of the immediate environment for colour, texture, shape etc. Various activities would be drawing, painting, clay work, wood work etc. So the focus is on experiencing of colour, form, texture etc is from the daily experience. Examples of this work can be seen at the following links. (http://www.rediscoveringchildhood.org/kumbham.htm, http://www.rediscoveringchildhood.org/ruraldesign.htm http://my.opera.com/jinankb/albums/show.dml?id=65285 http://my.opera.com/enableartisan/albums/show.dml?id=761059, http://www.rediscoveringchildhood.org/kollam.htm )

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  • SpiritSong  On April 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    The problem with seeing through experience, is if one’s experience (even in the young through schooling) has been taught to see something as ‘displeasing”, and something else as “pleasing” then that is the lens through which one sees i.e. the conditioned self…

    In order to learn to see with one’s own eyes, then one has to go through a process of deconditioning, or to learn to see with one’s soul and it is with this soul that one’s true aesthetics has the freedom to speak.

    I give the example of a 5 year old boy whose situation I will not discuss. It happened that his mother handed him over to me for a few days. The poor boy hardly knew me, and we did not speak the same language. But one thing for sure he was staying in a totally different environment – my environment.

    He was a very frightened boy, because it transpired that his mother often upped and left him with someone – so his fear was a relieved fear, that his mother would not return.

    Having worked with mentally disturbed children, we used art to help him relax – not ordered art, but free art without tools, just paints, water, lots of paper, plastic bags to make aprons with, and his hands and feet. He developed great anxiety getting his hands and feet dirty, but once we demonstrated that he could wash his hands and feet, and the pleasure of mixing paints and colors challenged his fear, he was ready to enjoy the experience. Innocence returned within him as he experienced and witnessed the colors and shapes his hands could make, and his he finished the joy, anxiety returned and he went into a conversation with self – i.e. between him and what he has been taught linking the art of his hands and feet with dirt…it took the pleasure of washing and having a little fun with water to calm down again.

    There are many levels that this situation can be looked at, but in context, his natural creative self had been shut off, at such a young age.

    There are many ways that this is done to a child. If they go to preschool, they learn this indirectly from the art that their ‘teacher’ chooses to display. They learn this when they are taught art, and the art that they are taught in the globalized world is of one culture…. So they begin to see art, to see creativity through a cultural dimension. A dimension that may not reflect the dimension that they live. They have been taught to see the world in a particular way already, so it is it not the seeing that has to be re-born, and how does one do that without they child feeling as if they have betrayed their ‘teachers’ whether those teachers are in the home or at school? How do they learn to make friends with themselves… to trust themselves… to like themselves?

    Going back to that 6-year old boy, his mother did return… Whenever we visited his home after that he was extremely happy… the painful thing was whenever we left his home he would be extremely upset. The last time we visited was very painful. We had to make it the last because the whole neighbourhood was learning that he preferred to be with us than with his mother!

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