Ecoart: Vision, Imagination, & Place


Vision Diagram: Vision is divided into the physical act of seeing and the mental act of imagining.

Definition (from the Visual Thesaurus):

The ability to see; the faculty of vision; the perceptual experience of seeing.

Vision is about seeing the forest and the trees—the macro and the micro, the big picture and the details. Vision, or seeing, is what we usually notice first—the image. But to fully experience a place, you must take it in with all your senses: watch, listen, inhale, touch!

In Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, he emphasizes the importance of experiencing nature with all your senses, and he blames what he terms “nature deficit disorder” for many childhood ailments, including ADD, obesity, inability to concentrate, even disruptive or violent behavior. Louv asserts, and a growing body of research suggests, that contact with nature is a requirement for healthy child AND adult development, yet a University of Maryland study from 1997-2003, showed a 50% decline in outdoor activities for children aged 9-12 years (34).

How often do we “unplug” and experience a place with all our senses—unmediated? That kind of direct experience with nature is what artist Thomas Cole sought in the wilderness of the White Mountains…

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