Saturday, 15 August 2020

Wabi Sabi


© Teresa Newham

And what exactly, you may ask, is wabi sabi?  I came across the concept for the first time while reading Christine Valters Paintner's The Artist's Rule, but in many ways I've been attracted to it since I started taking an interest in photography.

© Teresa Newham

Wabi sabi is a Japanese term which refers to the melancholy beauty of impermanence, imperfection and humility; and if you're drawn to a photo of a scruffy shed door or a painting of an elderly fishing trawler, because they have more character than shiny new things, then you like it too.

© Teresa Newham
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The exercise suggested for this particular chapter of the book was to "take your camera for a walk", and I found plenty of examples on which to focus - literally - in the local lanes.  Nature, after all, is in a state of constant flux . . .

© Teresa Newham

Spring and Autumn are particularly good seasons to find wabi sabi in nature, because they are times of obvious transition; and although it's still only the middle of August, there are clear signs that Autumn is on its way.

© Teresa Newham

These two photos are among my favourite examples: the weeds next to a railway bridge doubly so, as the "perfect" photo wouldn't include that little triangle of blue sky, while the poppy seed heads in my garden are a daily reminder of the beauty of wabi sabi!

© Teresa Newham

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