Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi.  Tea, rust on Japanese paper.
Wabi Sabi. Tea, rust on Japanese paper.

I discovered some references to Wabi Sabi recently. The term seems to convey things that I am interested in expresssing in my work.

Wabi-sabi  represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”. Read about it here.

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.

Rust and Tea. Monotype on Japanese Paper
Rust and Tea. Monotype on Japanese Paper

Gallery of Lost Art

The Gallery of Lost Art is an online exhibition that tells the stories of artworks that have disappeared. Destroyed, stolen, discarded, rejected, erased, ephemeral – some of the most significant artworks of the last 100 years have been lost and can no longer be seen.

This virtual year-long exhibition explores the sometimes extraordinary and sometimes banal circumstances behind the loss of major works of art. Archival images, films, interviews, blogs and essays are laid out for visitors to examine, relating to the loss of works by over 40 artists across the twentieth century, including such figures as Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró, Willem de Kooning, Rachel Whiteread and Tracey Emin.

The Gallery of Lost Art is curated by Tate, designed by digital studio ISO, and produced in partnership with Channel 4, with additional support from The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

The Gallery of Lost Art will last for one year before itself being lost. It launched on 2 July 2012 featuring 20 artworks, and a new work is added each week over six months until the exhibition is complete. Beyond these showcased works, the site provides a platform for interaction, discussion and commentary on the subject of lost art as a whole.

Jane Burton, Creative Director, Tate Media, says: “The Gallery of Lost Art is a ghost museum, a place of shadows and traces. It could only ever exist virtually. The challenge was to come up with a way of showcasing these artworks and telling their stories, when, in many cases, poor quality images are all we have left of them. The result is a new way of looking at art: an immersive website in the form of a vast warehouse, where visitors can explore the evidence laid out for them.”

Artists Fees

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) invites you to sign the attached petition (here) intended for presentation to Federal Arts Minister, the Hon. Simon Crean MP. The petition calls for the mandating of payment of artists’ fees for art work exhibited in public galleries either on loan or commissioned from artists, at the rate recommended in NAVA’s Code of Practice for the Professional Australian Visual Arts, Craft and Design Sector.
As you may be aware, NAVA has always been a strong advocate for artists’ right to be paid at an appropriate level for their work and the contribution they make to the cultural life of the community. Though some galleries do pay at the recommended minimum level or above, many others still do not.

In order to enable small to medium galleries and other exhibition spaces to meet their obligations, the petition also calls for the Government to provide these galleries where needed, with adequate additional financial support specified for this purpose.

It is intended that this petition will be presented to Minister Crean in August to ask for this new contribution towards artists’ financial viability to be included as part of the forthcoming National Cultural Policy, promised for delivery later this year.

The deadline is July 31st 2012.


Tales of Things

I’m thinking of using Tales of Things so that visitors to my exhibition who have androids, iPhones and iPads  (the well connected) can comment on the pieces, and add their own memories. Maybe I’m asking for trouble! Its a beta version, and there seem to be a few bugs to sort out, but its a very exciting idea, particularly for an exhibition about memory!

Through Tales of Things you can create a QR code for an object. If the code is displayed alongside the object, people with the right technology can scan the code, and read information about it. More importantly, they can add their own contributions to the online description, which others can read when they scan the QR code. We’ll see if I have the time, and can iron out the problems I’ve experienced with my first attempts.

Half remembered Text

The Good Book

The Good Book is an alternative, secular Bible. Its principal concern is how life – the good life – should be lived. This book has been made by philosopher A.C.Grayling in the same way that the Judaeo-Christian Bible was made: by redaction, editing, paraphrasing, interpolation, arrangement and rewriting of texts from the last three thousand years of the great secular traditions. It has been made from over a thousand texts by several hundred authors and from collections and anonymous traditions. Its been written in a similar form and similar language to the Christian Bible.

A Hard Rain Already Falling….

This beautifully written work by Geraldine Brooks is the first of the 2011 ABC Boyer Lectures series.  Its been published in the book Boyer Lectures 2011: The Idea of Home. The full lecture series will be broadcast on ABC Radio National, here is the transcript of the first lecture.

“But that Franklin trip changed me, profoundly. As I believe wilderness experience changes. Because it puts us in our place. The human place, which our species inhabited for most of its evolutionary life. The place that shaped our psyches, and made us who we are. The place where nature is big, and we are small. We have reversed this ratio only in the last couple of hundred years. An evolutionary nanosecond. The pace of our headlong rush from a wilderness existence through an agrarian life to urbanization is staggering and exponential. In the USA, in just two hundred years, the percentage of people living in cities has jumped from less than four percent to eighty percent. By 2006, half the world’s population lived in cities. Every week, a million more individuals move to join them. The bodies and the minds we inhabit were designed for a very different world from the one we now occupy. As far as we know, no organism has ever been part of the experiment in evolutionary biology which we as a species are now undertaking, adapted for one life yet living another. We are, in a way, already space travelers. We have left our home behind and ventured into an alien world. And we don’t yet know what effects this sudden hurtle into strangeness will ultimately have on the human body, the human psyche.”

Junee Cave Walk