Friday, 28 April 2017

Some thoughts about perception, and a little sketching in Jersey

I was lucky enough to be able to take my poor long-suffering wife away for a few days to Jersey last week, to celebrate her birthday. While we were there, staring out to sea overlooking St Ouens Bay to the west of the island, I was thinking about not only the mottled reflections of light coming from the sea, all of the reflections from objects in their various forms and wavelengths.

Sketch of St Ouen's Bay, Jersey, (April 2017) Graham Hadfield

I'm not the first by any means, - to say that art is all about light, this has been a common theme for as long as people have been thinking about it since perhaps the renaissance and even before. Perhaps though it is Paul C├ęzanne, who explored the detail of light more than any other, particularly in his 80 or so renderings of Mont San Victoire, which later influenced the likes of Manet (and the haystacks comes to mind) to make his own recordings and renderings.

Thinking about this, that light reflected from particular pigments, or in nature compound surfaces, is, from my 'O' level physics, merely a reflection of the wavelengths that have not been absorbed by the material onto which sunlight (or white light). It is the subtraction (that is, through the absorption) of all the other spectrum wavelengths, other than the specifically reflected wavelengths, that gives us a perception of colour. This applies to all reflections of electromagnetic wavelengths, from infrared through to ultraviolet and hence all of the colours of the spectrum in between.

In my quest to trying to find common ground, that is a rapport if you like between human perception and the Peregrines' perception, surely I need to strip away everything that is superfluous phenomena. The redundant phenomena that humans may be used to, accustomed to or take simply for granted. So by stripping away all of the colours to leave just two binary states of visibility, that is light or not light (e.g. darkness), in plain language, black-and-white, this alludes to a presence and non-presence.

The idea then that a sketch or drawing rendered in black and white, the black of the ink and the whiteness of paper or the background is surely the minimal phenomena that I can engage with?

This underlines the importance during my next term of continuing to seek chances to develop through continuous drawing and reflection.

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