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"Perspective" is the theme for this year's Queensland Regional Art Awards. It is a good theme because you could apply it to your artwork in a number of ways:

  1. You could use linear and/or aerial perspective to create depth in your work

  2. You could depict a scene or an object from an unusual perspective or even from a variety of perspectives in the one art work

  3. You could portray an idea, sentiment or belief from your particular perspective

  4. You could combine any of the above within the one work

  5. And so on...

Whichever way you go, perspective and artwork are integral to each other's existence.

Linear perspective is part of what enables we artists to depict the illusion of 3 dimensions on a 2 dimensional surface. It refers to the way we angle lines to depict geometric forms, such as rectangular prisms (e.g. buildings, boxes etc.). As I tell my students, our linear perspective doesn't have to be correct to the closest millimetre - it just has to be correct enough to look like it is correct. Often when we look at a painting or drawing where the perspective is not quite right, the mistake is jarring to us, although we may not be able to discern exactly what is wrong.

Generally, our picture plane will have one horizon, which in the case of linear perspective means the eye level of the viewer. Of course, one reason to know the basic rules of linear perspective is so that you can break them. And having one horizon (eye level) within one picture plane is one of those rules. It has been ably broken by artists like Jacek Yerka and M.C.Escher, best known for his "impossible perspectives" such as below. He manipulated perspectives to create forms that are logically impossible but there they are in his art works; totally and utterly "possible" due to the enviable way his brain works.

M.C. Escher "Relativity" 1953 Lithograph

And that's pretty much my point. Our perspective is often unique to us. No one else sees the world in quite the way that you do. This underlines the importance of art in all of our lives. Art is a way of putting forward different perspectives and therefore a way of considering different viewpoints...about all sorts of things. As Escher has ably shown us, entirely new worlds can exist by means of our art; the impossible can become possible. For that reason, I urge you to continue to make the art that you make, so that we can see the world from a different point of view and begin to consider ideas that we might have previously thought impossible. It also underlines my conviction that art is and should be much more than creating pretty pictures. Perhaps it is artists who will make the blueprint for a better, kinder, greener, more livable world.

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