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In the centre of this black-and-white photograph, there is a window that is framed by wide, darkly painted wood trim. The top of the window frame touches the top edge of the photograph. Around the window clapboard siding fills the image from edge to edge. In the window, the face of a small child peeks out from sheer and flowered curtains, which they have pulled to the side. The reflection of a car and the details of a house across the street can be seen in the glass.

Jim Hansen

Untitled (window with child), 1972
black and white photograph on paper
37.5 x 47.8 cm
Collection of the Owens Art Gallery

The UK-based CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY manifesto declares the sky to be “the most egalitarian of (nature’s) displays, since everyone can have a fantastic view of it.” Historically, people have always been compelled to look up—to gain perspective, to observe the emanations of gods, and to dream. Everyone sees a different sky, however, as things change and shift in the angles of reflected light. And each view is limited by the different resources one brings to see it—one’s leisure and language and imagination—as well as by the confines that make only parts of it visible. Even the altitude of the upper most region of the troposphere differs across regions, seasons, and time of day, meaning that the ceiling of sky is—literally—higher for some than for others.

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