Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bermuda: "In th' Ocean's bosom unespy'd"

"The strange thing was that when I came to the surface I found that during my time below I had forgotten all rules of perspective and other dicta of the art schools, and that I had drawn everything in proportion of its importance to me.  In the upper world of air we have accustomed ourselves to make subconscious adjustments in our vision, so that an elephant seen a mile away still conjures up an idea of something large, though its actual dimensions on our retina may be no bigger than those of the fly on our boot.
 Under the water all these adjustments vanished, and if a particularly interesting small fish passed in the distance, I found that in my drawing it was depicted very much larger than some dull fellow twice the size who happened to be near at hand.  This suggests a parallel with primitive art, where objects were drawn on cave wall or canvas according to their importance to the artist, and not according to mathematics and laws of optics.  Doubtless, when I have dived more often, I shall begin those accursed adjustments of reason, and may even, in time, write a textbook on the subject.  God forbid!"

Blue Angels and Whales  Robert Gibbings

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