Seeing Things Differently (Alternatively Titled: Learning from Other People)

I recently just attended my first press preview (more on that shortly) for an new art exhibition and while it was a great experience to learn more about journalism and my intended future career, it also taught me a lot elsewhere.

Now I have to admit that I’m not really an ‘artsy’ person. Although, like anyone, I can appreciate a pretty picture and marvel at the skill it shows, I don’t really get it.  I’ve been to art galleries and various exhibitions before and nothing’s really struck me in a particular way.

So when I was invited to this press preview for a new Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition at my local gallery I was excited, sure, but I wasn’t really anticipating much.

And I was right. Some of the pieces I saw were pretty and I liked the look of them or the stories behind them but overall I wasn’t too bothered.

Then I spoke to the man who organised and devised the exhibition, a lovely talkative man called Martin, who was so excited about the work around him that I felt my perspective shifting.

He took me over to one of the drawings under the heading A Deluge. Now, this was something I had earlier dismissed as a mess of scribbles. I, in my uninterested and already prejudiced mind, couldn’t see anything wonderful or worthy in this image.

Deluge

Leonardo da Vinci, A deluge, c.1517-18 Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

But Martin began explaining what he saw and it couldn’t be more different from my idle opinion.

He explained that this image was a part of a sequence of images Leonardo Da Vinci produced, all of which showed a “mighty tempest overwhelming the earth”

“This is about half the way through the sequence as the mountains are collapsing into the valley below. You see huge floods washing across the landscape, trees being blasted, storm clouds swirling around in the upper part of the drawing.

It’s smaller than a sheet of A4 paper but Leonardo captures this most amazing panoramic vision and there’s nothing like it from the rest of the renaissance.

It’s an extraordinary drawing and if it didn’t exist, you wouldn’t be able to imagine that it had been done.”

This whole exchange just goes to show how different we all are and the various ways in which we all interpret the world around us.

Although this can often cause conflict and issues, being different and seeing things in different ways is such a wonderful thing and I felt very inspired and humbled by the whole experience.

It made me think that taking time out to truly listen to someone else, someone with an opposite opinion to our own regardless of what that may be (as long as it is respectful, obviously) is such a healthy activity and something I should do more.

Listening and looking out for the ways in which we are all so different and so wonderfully unique will surely take us that one step closer to seeing that we are all important.

What do you think about the image? I’d love to hear your interpretation.

Speak soon,

Rachael.

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