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Shifting Perspectives

Have you ever been driving in your car or sitting on a bus and listening to music then suddenly felt as if you are somehow outside of the world, observing it at a distance, and that everything, even the most mundane things, are somehow very strange and distant yet very beautiful?

Or have you ever lay down on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, looking up, until your perspective changes so that it feels like you’re looking down and the ceiling at the top of the stairs is now the floor at the bottom and, where it goes round the corner, it now leads to a strange and unknown place.

Or have you ever looked closely, and for a long time, at a tree or a flower, or the sea, or a mountain, or a rock? Looked so intently that, after a time, everything around seems to fade into a blur and the object that is the focus of your attention becomes a whole world, existing separately, distinct from its surroundings.

That is my idea of being out of kilter.

That is how I want a play, or a poem, or a painting or piece of sculpture to affect me.

So here are a few things that have helped to nudge my perspective a little; Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, Nadja by Andre Breton, pretty much anything by the Surrealists, Goya’s Caprichos (and most notably ‘The Sleep of Reason’), Angela Carter’s books and short stories, The Wizard of Oz (the original film of course), the strange and intriguing work of local artist Teresa Wilson (visit her website), Last Year at Marienbad, the poetry of Rimbaud, Blood Wedding by Lorca, the Duchess of Malfi by John Webster, anything by Borges, choral works by obscure or unknown renaissance composers, old and derelict houses in the countryside, that rare and elusive moment between sleeping and waking when we are lucid but not wholly rational and feel as if we are, momentarily, suspended between two worlds.

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