When living in a city as beautiful as Sydney, it’s easy to get lazy. The city invites you, to kick back, relax, have a beer, lay on the beach, don’t worry, slow down. Which is a wonderful change when you’ve come from the frantic pace of London, or the rain-soaked streets of Manchester. But after 3 years of living here, it becomes a little soporific.
I’ve been feeling it lately. I’ve become lazy. I don’t read, I don’t seek out culture, I don’t teach myself new things. Sure, it’s partly that I’m more embedded in my adopted country. The excitement of moving to the other side of the world has to wear off at some point. But I’ve been feeling a little restless lately, a little “off”. Something is missing.
I think at least part of my restlessness is that I’m intellectually bored. I seem to have whittled down my inputs to banal social media and TV shows. I’ve even stopped reading the news, as it all got so depressing. It feels like I’m not being challenged or stimulated by anything.
So, I did what I always do when I’m feeling this malaise. I went to an art gallery.
I don’t know what it is about art galleries, but they just calm me down. I forget about myself and just get lost in the beauty around me. I feel the same way about art galleries as I do about public parks - I think they’re an essential part of life and I hope they never get taken away from us.
An empty art gallery on a rainy Tuesday morning
cures all ills
I left feeling so inspired. I had a list of topics and artists I wanted to learn about, and ideas for things I wanted to photograph. One of the things I noticed was how artists capture something that others would not notice, or similarly, how they can turn the prosaic, ugly, or unremarkable into something beautiful.
Later that day I went to throw out these dried-out dahlias but something stopped me. I looked at them and noticed, really paid attention, to their lovely, faded tissue-paper petals. I did an impromptu still-life session and I love how they turned out.
These photos remind me to seek out the beauty that is around me. They also serve as a reminder to actively challenge myself and seek out inspiration, and make it part of my life again. After all, there’s only so long you can lie on a beach.