By Wendy King
What a great time I had showing Liz Kentish around my favourite parts of Sydney at the weekend – footsore but content. I got to be a tourist in my own country and see it anew through another’s eyes. This got me thinking about how we experience things, particularly the quality of the experience.
At the zoo, it was close to feeding time as the Sumatran tigers paced in their enclosure. We took in the power of their physical movements, long stiff whiskers, mesmerising golden eyes and bared white teeth. We experienced being face to face with a group of tigers, albeit once-removed as there was a glass wall between us – safety first!
So what of the tourist recording everything with a video? If the glass wall is a filter between us and the tigers, then the video lens becomes a second filter. The tourist is now twice-removed from the tiger. It has been condensed into a second-hand experience, a depiction of tigers through a screen, not an experience of the tigers themselves.
Now here’s the question: How aware are we of the quality of our experiences? Do we limit the quality of our experiences by focusing on the recording of achievements rather then being in the moment? How many times have we taken the photo, ticked the list, collected the brochure and moved on to the next item on the itinerary?
By all means, take a photo, create a souvenir – but only after you have intentionally taken in the wonder of the moment.
So is this something we also do in the workplace, do we put filters between us, and getting the job done? if so take a look at what your filters are!
There is a great saying “Wherever you are, be there” This should always be the case whether it’s at work or play, be in the moment, that way you will really experience what’s going on!
So one day I hope to go on safari and have the direct experience of a tiger – from the safety of an open-top vehicle of course, and I’ll get someone else to take the photos.
Wendy King is a collage artist who explores ideas of nostalgia and memory. You can view her work at www.wendykingart.com
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