On Stereo Sue

One of the best presentations of the kind of space I’m after in recent sculptures is in a New Yorker article called Stereo Sue (June 19 2006) in which Oliver Sacks recounts the story of a woman who saw the world without stereoscopic/binocular vision.  She got on fine (the brain compensating and there being enough perspective ‘clues’) but late in life, through vision therapy, she acquired binocular vision. She describes some of the effects, such as: “At seminars…my attention is completely captivated by the way an empty chair displays itself in space, and a whole row of chairs occupies my attention for minutes.  I would like to take a whole day just to walk around and LOOK.” 

The article concludes: “After almost three years,” she wrote, “my new vision continues to surprise and delight me.  One winter day, I was racing from the classroom to the deli for a quick lunch.  After taking only a few steps from the classroom building, I stopped short.  The snow was falling lazily around me in large, wet flakes.  I could see the space between each flake, and all the flakes together produced a beautiful three-dimensional dance.  In the past, the snow would have appeared to fall in a flat sheet in one plane slightly in front of me.  I would have felt like I was looking in on the snowfall.  But now, I felt myself within the snowfall, among the snowflakes.  Lunch forgotten, I watched the snow fall for several minutes, and, as I watched, I was overcome with a deep sense of joy.  A snowfall can be quite beautiful – especially when you see it for the first time.”

Charles Hewlings

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