19/05/2013 by Sarah Ritchie
In an age of political correctness it is acceptable for me to declare that I don’t much like Wellington, our nation’s captial city? I lived there for four years, so at least my dislike is grounded in a modicum of personal experience.
Being used to the rolling expanse and colour of Auckland, returning to Wellington feels somewhat claustrophobic – with its ring of brown, scrubby hills and same-same 1950s houses. Granted, a crisp, clear, sunny day in Wellington can be quite lovely, until one blast of the all-to-present icy wind – that whips off the Kaikoura Ranges – blows any previous sympathetic thoughts from my mind.
Isn’t it refreshing, then, when the actions or words of someone else cause you to think differently about something; challenge your perceptions; make you reconsider what you held in your head to be an undeniable reality?
Last week (16 May) Mark posted a new photo (above) to his Facebook page. I received the photo within one day of his post, as it was virally shared from newsfeed to newsfeed. I can see why the photo was resonating around the Facebook-sphere. It certainly touched something in me. Made me feel a twinge of guilt, actually.
Whenever someone mentions “Wellington” to me, my immediate thoughts are not usually complimentary. Seeing this image helped me to see some beauty in what my memory assures me is particularly un-beautiful.
Isn’t that how we should be – open to challenge our perceptions by seeing life through another’s eyes (or lens)? Isn’t that what “art” does? Art doesn’t always have to push boundaries, or tell stories. Art can just be an interpretation of life. Appreciation of art can be simply looking at life through another’s eyes.
I want to thank Mark Gee for creating – for me – a new, alternative, image of Wellington; one where a blazing Milky Way crowns an attractive harbour. One where a thriving city of lights conquers those brown, scrubby hills.