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Illusion of Perception

Evoking questions through art

Our everyday life is a compilation of countless real-time subjective viewpoints, ideals and experiences.  Each and every thought, event, and conversation we’re presented with, is passed through our own personal filter, based on our values and beliefs, to form an opinion or interpretation of it.

These subjective interpretations point to the way we perceive the things around us. Whether we consciously understand the role of perception or not, it is what’s responsible for shaping our decisions, actions, and behaviors in life, and ultimately, our experiences. With this in mind, our personal reality can be thought of as our perceived reality.

At first glance, this painting “Illusion of Perception” may pass as an ordinary interpretation of an eagle flying amongst storm clouds. But a moment later, it may invite a second look.

“Is that sky or water? But if water, why is it skyward? Is that eagle upright or inverted? No, it looks like the water is inverted…”

Here’s an example of a thought process at work in finding an appropriate interpretation of the painting. Since our perceptions are subjective, we may form a completely different viewpoint of the same thing, this painting for example, from someone else.

Either way, there’s a clear inversion in this painting. No matter how you look at it, there’s an element upside down; the eagle or the water.

If something is considered to be inverted, it’s considered as “reverse in position” or as “reverse in order”, something false appearing real, or a slight variation of the truth. This is a familiar concept when thinking about a magician, for example, using inversions as a means to convey an illusory viewpoint to his audience. But the concept can play a much bigger role than that.  It can be applied to virtually anything to suggest a desired outcome, and show up in everyday places where we’d expect a straight story.  A headline mainstream news article, a public school board agenda item, exceptions to conventional health narratives, etc. The whole concept of propaganda is based on directing perspectives.

The thing about inversions is they seem somewhat natural and ordinary at first – and if not explored further, can remain as accepted viewpoints. It’s ultimately up to the viewer on how to perceive what’s in front of them – and just as importantly – to witness their own thought processes in action while doing so.

Could the act of mindfulness lead to a path of re-examining things we previously perceived as natural or ordinary? Is it possible that there are inversions that we’ve passed as acceptable that are inviting us to take a second look? A tiny shift at the way we see and interpret something is practically effortless, and yet may open us up to a new viewpoint that makes much more sense as a result.

It’s my intention that this painting serves as an invitation to explore the tendencies of our perceptions, to be mindful of our interpretations on what we accept as is.

For listening material that highlights mainstream inversions, see below:

Chris Ryan – Mindwars

Dr. Andrew Kauffman – Discussion on Biological Laws of GNM

For reading material to re-examine mainstream articles, see below:

Choose any headline from The World Economic Forum website


2 thoughts on “Illusion of Perception”

  1. Wow Tanya! This painting is not only beautiful but an amazing way to spark a thought and shine a light in such confusing times! I love the contrast of the peaceful and strong eagle in flight and the stormy presents behind. Thank you for using your talents to share so much more than a picture!

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