Enriching the Arts

The Influence of Perception in Artwork

Perspective of the artist affects the content of the piece

ASA logo 4 black vectorThe visual arts rely upon a sense of perception – in both the viewer’s observation of the piece and the personal insights of the artist. The Alberta Society of Artists is interested in the way that an artist’s perspective contributes to their artwork, and two recent exhibitions examined the concept.

The first exhibition, The Artist’s Lens, showcased how the understanding of an image’s content is influenced by the personable narrative perceived to be behind it. The second exhibition, Self Portraits, examined the intention of self-presentation through portraiture.

The concept of perception, and how it influences the creation of artwork, is something many well-known artists have addressed in their work. By understanding personal perceptions it becomes possible to engage more deeply with the ideas represented in the artwork.

SelfPortraitsPosterDefinition of Perception

The Oxford Dictionary defines perception as “a way of regarding, understanding or interpreting something: a mental impression.” Closely related to perception is perspective, which is defined as “a particular attitude or way toward regarding something; a point of view.”

Perception is inseparable from an individual. Everyone has their own unique perspectives, shaped from their personal experiences and values. These pre-existing viewpoints shape how an individual reacts to an event, interacts with other people, and perceives the world around them.

Perceptions of Art

It is inevitable that the personal perceptions of an artist will influence their artwork. Art is a visual representation of the way the world appears to an individual, offering the viewer a window from which to see the way that the artist views the world around them.

Of course, the individual who views the artwork has their own unique perspectives as well, which influence how they evaluate the piece before them. Art can only be viewed through the meeting of two perspectives – that of the viewer and that of the artist.

The concept of perception in relation to artwork is a complex but fascinating topic. The Alberta Society of Artists enjoyed exploring this topic with two exhibitions examining how the perceptions of the artist influence their depiction of the world and themselves.

Recommended Reading:
The perception of art and the science of perception
The perception and evaluation of visual art

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Crossroads Art Centre
#302 - 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012
TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

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