While walking on a cool autumn day to meet a client on campus, I found myself avoiding students as they walked past with heads held down staring intently at the object of desire that captivated them so much that cars, buses and other people seemed trivial to them. Rather it would seem updating their Facebook page or texting their friends was more important than paying attention to their surroundings. On more than one occasion a student came within inches of running into me as they tried to navigate around campus by looking at their feet while they typed. It was then that I had a lucid moment that technology had created a dichotomy between the seen and unseen, the visible and the invisible, the trivial and not so trivial.
The conundrum that piqued my interest – what was trivial and what was important. Somehow we have gotten to the point that being entertained and having instant access to trivial information, facts, or music was more important than enjoying time away from distractions. This prompted me to seek out my familiar haunts that I frequented as an undergraduate – from the fields near Ballentine Hall where I would study and soak up the warm sun to the wooded forest named Dunn Woods near the Student building where the shade and cool breeze provided shelter when the heat of the day was too oppressive as I worked on my studies. I marvelled at how timeless the beauty is around campus yet I was quickly struck by how the campus, especially the parks and woods were empty. Every so often, a burst of students would rush by, always in a hurry, almost always distracted. This, in turn, prompted me to explore where all the students were and why these places that I often sought refuge when I was younger were now sitting virtually vacant. I explore these various locations and expose their hidden beauty and contrast that with the movement that exists to uncover the duality with how we live life and present this vision through my series, Blurred Beauty.