Saturday, 31 October 2009

Wabi-Sabi No.2

In his book on the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic Leonard Koren states,

Wabi-Sabi represents the exact opposite of the Western ideal of great beauty as something monumental, spectacular, and enduring.  Wabi_Sabi is not found in nature at moments of bloom and lushness, but at moments of inception or subsiding.  Wabi-Sabi is not about gorgeous flowers, majestic trees or bold landscapes.  Wabi-Sabi is about the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to vulgar eyes.

I often dip into this small book to keep my Wabi-Sabiness topped up and on reading this passage a day or two ago I thought I would browse my photographic images for something that would illustrate this statement. I have always favoured things in a state of decay or deconstruction over those in a condition of growth or creation so it was no surprise to me to find many more photographs depicting the former than the latter.

I thought these three photographs fitted the bill rather well and as it happens all three were taken in Andalucia, Spain.  I find that Spain, particularly in the rural areas has far more things Wabi-Sabi than anywhere in the UK where a great deal of tidying up goes on much to the detriment of the Wabi-Sabi hunter.


Blue Sky Dreaming said...

If there is a sound connected to these photos, to me, it would be almost no sound...a hushed quiet...great photos.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

You have a great eye and sensitivity to Wabi-Sabi. I see the ghost shadows of the hands that made these useful, time worn structures.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

I think I need to practice some Wabi-Sabi for the sake of SWAMBO (she who must be obeyed) as I am the collector in the house.

The more I contemplate about Wabi-Sabi, the more I realize it is not necessarily ones surroundings but a state of mind.

The commentators previous comment regarding sound is most true indeed, especially when when views the image of the window.

Than you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend,

merci33 said...

I am so happy to visit this second installment in your Wabi Sabi series. You inspire me, and my fellow artists, in our WS studio at the Contemporary Art Center in Virginia, we oooo and ahhhh over your hostas and your waterline abstractions and now these latest additions will inspire us to go on more treasure hunts here in Ol' Virginny.

layers said...

glad I returned in time for another wabi-sabi quote and images-- they are my favorite kind as well...rusty,weathered, worn, torn.

ArtPropelled said...

My favourite kind of imagery. I love old, worn and weathered wood.

Kelly M. said...

When I was taking a pottery course at Wesleyan, Koren's book was referred to again and again. Now I must get a copy -- I am intrigued also for writing haiku -- again, the spare, elemental aspect so contrary to the Western mind.

Anonymous said...

These old door pictures capture my love of old wood. If only there was a place where I live that would have such a site to see. How beautiful!!!
My husband and I made a coffee table out of a piece of pine from Montana, which I carefully picked out myself. You can see where branches use to grow, just gorgeous. My husband counted the rings and it dates back over 100 years!

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