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Exploring Perception: Our Journey Through Art and Emotion

Exploring Perception: Our Journey Through Art and Emotion
Liane Angaran

Our exploration has taken us through the intricate maze of optical illusions, the physiology of sight, and the depths of personal interpretation.

The Eyes of Wonder

Our adventure began with the magical allure of optical illusions. The children were captivated by the way these images challenged their vision, sparking a cascade of curiosity and questions. In art class, our young artists even tried their hands at creating their optical illusions.

A Biological Insight

This curiosity led us to study the human eye, unraveling the complex process that allows us to see the world around us. We learned about the specialized cells that enable color vision and how the brain plays a crucial role in interpreting the images we see. Through this, we understood that, in a physiological sense, our eyes and brains function in similar ways.

The Subjectivity of Sight

However, the children posed a profound question: “Do we all see the same?” To explore this, we looked beyond illusions to various pieces of art, each one a window into different perspectives and interpretations. Here’s what the children thought about some of the artworks we studied:

Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

  • JO: Time is running out.
  • KS: Everything is 3-D.
  • LT: Be wise with your time in your life.
  • EF: (tilting head) I see an eye or nose.
  • KY: Bending time.

Separation by Edvard Munch

  • LS: Paint was smeared everywhere, because of the title.
  • EA: A long road the princess is walking.
  • DT: The guy in black is the king, sad, thinking of love lost.
  • KM: I think he’s sad because the princess is walking away from him.

Girl Before a Mirror by Pablo Picasso

  • DC: Why does the girl look different in the mirror?
  • EF: The mirror shows another place to go.
  • NK: There's a connection she’s trying to close.
  • AM: There is a hole in the mirror where her hand is.

Reflecting on Our World

Our journey didn't stop at the classics. We also contemplated modern messages through environmental art:

Blue Ocean Society Contest Poster

  • CH: A wave of trash symbolizes people not caring for the environment.
  • MS: The trash is like a monster, but the water pushes it back.
  • KY: The message is clear—don’t pollute the water.

Sandra Beer

  • AM: People are feeding fish with their litter.
  • LS: The whale is eating trash, getting sick, and a boy is trying to save it.

The Power of Emotion

During a reflective seminar, we pondered the essence of seeing. We considered whether we use more than our eyes to perceive the world. The children suggested that our nose, mouth, ears, brain, and even our heart play a role. This led us to wonder if our emotions influence our perception and, intriguingly, if we can influence how others perceive the world.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

As we continue on this journey, we’re currently contemplating the powerful question, “Can we influence what others see?” Through this inquiry, we hope to deepen our understanding of the connection between emotion and perception.

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