'"Greatness" exists in the inconspicuous and overlooked details. 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.
Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers
I didn't know about wabi-sabi when I was taking photos of discarded roofing materials rusting and fermenting in buckets baking in the prairie sun. I was unaware that seeing beauty in decay and destruction was an eastern or Japanese aesthetic when I became obsessed with the minutiae of cobbled together common construction materials seen from an ant's eye view.
Only in the course of the 21 KONSTRUKTIONS project coupled with my library studies have I been able to make sense of how I see the world around me and then process it in my studio practice. In particular, it was the academic works of Professor Margaret Mackey whose research and lectures on contemporary reading theories and literacy that expanded my understanding of written language and opened my mind up to new ways of thinking about reading & writing and, ultimately, making art.
I've been curious about written languages since I learned how to print my name in chalk on our basement floor when I was five. My fascination with alphabets and the genesis of these signs and symbols over the millenia has informed my formal education as well as my artistic practice and ongoing research. The shapes of the shadows in the 21 KONSTRUKTIONS have been my personal alphabet for over a decade and, as is quoted above, I'm fascinated by "the minor and the hidden, the tentative and the ephemeral: things so subtle and evanescent they are invisible to vulgar eyes". If my art makes you rethink the humble, common world around you and reconsider the wonder of the written word I consider that a success.