Words spoken at the opening of ‘wabi-sabi – from rags to rust, the art of imperfection’ July 26, 2009
the older I become and the less time it seems likely I shall have on this beautiful earth the more I realise the importance of taking more time to be slow about the things I do
and to engage with the whirled
to take time to appreciate that string of pearls that is “the moments of now” that scatter like raindrops on a river as we wander our life journey
collections of “moments of now” make up the works we see here today. We call them artworks but they are only the tips of the metaphorical iceberg that is the
Art - Work
the thought, hand, making and shaping that was involved in the realisation of the pieces we see
those “moments of now” cannot be pinned down like beetles in a museum.they slip elusively away shimmering and dancing; swooping like dragonflies on the pond of memory
for me the concept of wabi-sabi is as undefinable.
my wise friend the potter Petrus Spronk says that the spirit of wabi comes about as a result of the work being made with great care and attention
and that the spirit of sabi comes about as a result of equally great care and attention from the user
and that in this way the work becomes complete.
Leonard Koren writes that wabi sabi is
…a beauty of things humble….
ask a Japanese person to define it and the response often implies that the need to ask belies the possibility of understanding.
for me it is the difference between a philosophy that strives to say something with a work
one in which materials from nature are worked with care and respect to find a voice that gives the object meaning
in a similar spirit, as a traveller I find the most satisfying journeys have been those in which I have taken the time to listen to land and place
taken time for life to find me rather than seeking out experience or nailing myself to a timetable
it is a frugal approach that finds joy in small detail.
a wabi-sabi of wanderings, taking gentle walks
stopping to listen and being open to the magic that is all around
the works that are being displayed in this place show that others too have found this magic
the makers have been attentive and have listened to the whirled
they have allowed their materials to find a voice through their hands and hearts.
i have pleasure in welcoming you to enjoy the work and invite you to give it the care and attention the makers have brought to it