}

 

Ephemera

The passage of time transforms the mundane, ordinary, and everyday into something special. Today’s bus ticket, ubiquitous advertisement, or household packaging is thrown out without a thought, yet if preserved over the right amount of decades or years, the item acquires the ability to inspire awe and nostalgia; the very elements once perceived as mundane become the communicators of a time that once was, almost a form of time travel, even if only in the mind. The fonts, colours, details, and even subject matter, all conspire to suggest a world that may no longer exist outside the memories we hold, and underline the distance of progress between now and then. What once seemed banal or gaudy now holds character and provokes interest; what once eluded a closer look now elicits an examining, focused gaze. Way back, we took the ordinary and everyday for granted, subconsciously expecting these things to be around forever and always a part of daily life. However, change often arrives suddenly and swiftly into our sphere of personal experience – despite any forethought or anticipation – and once the now-defunct everyday object becomes a thing of the past, the adjustment to the new takes up our perceptual processes. Once the adjustment is made, and the old fades from memory, a new lens is ready: removed from the ordinary day-to-day perception which filters out so much and takes much for granted, we are suddenly struck with the uniqueness, the character and quality and essence of a thing we usually only ever saw as a means to a mundane end. “If the doors of perception were cleansed,” said William Blake, “man would see everything as it is – infinite.” Perhaps the passing of time is one way of cleansing our perception – if time supposedly heals all wounds, it can also transform the way we see and know.

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