Objects of imagining

Looking at surfaces, marks on walls, water, the sky and searching for images within them is nothing new. I recall looking for recognisable shapes in wallpaper or the clouds from a very young age. Richard Wollheim (1980, p. 205) in his essays on Art and its objects, refers to ‘representational seeing,’ and talks about seeing as and seeing in. We can see a face in the cloud or we can see the cloud say as an army advancing.

If we do see an object, then can become objects of imaginings. If shaped like something familiar to us, they can act as props or prompters for our imagining. Kendall L.Walton in Mimesis as Make Believe (1990, p. 295) says that when we look at pictures our imaginings and our perceptional experiences (beliefs, thoughts, expectations, attitudes and desires) are intimately connected. He says:

The phenomenal character of the perception is inseparable from the imagining which takes it as an object.’  (Walton, 1990, p.295).

head in the clouds

The following is how I spot faces within everyday objects around me. Many probably see them too but by highlighting them and giving them a place to shine away from their usual contexts makes them stand out all the more.

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