Sunday, 10 March 2013

wabi sabi

For the past few years I have been interested in the Japanese concept of wabi sabi - a term hard to translate.
 "Wabi sabi has many different meanings. However today it means living a simple and modest lifestyle; one which is peaceful, balanced and in tune with nature.

Sabi  is associated with ‘growing old’, the natural progression of time, transitory or short-lived beauty and enjoying objects which are aged, fading or weathered.

It's about just ‘being’. Enjoying the moment and life’s simple pleasures and bringing more of these into our lives. "

I was originally drawn to the concept after reading "In praise of Shadows" by Junichiro Tanizaki for my textile degree course - but I realised this week how interest in wabi sabi has affected not just my art and textiles but how to live here in the Scottish Highlands in our tiny croft house.

"In home decor, wabi-sabi inspires a minimalism that celebrates the human rather than the machine. Possessions are pared down, and pared down again, until only those that are necessary for their utility or beauty (and ideally both) are left. What makes the cut? Items that you both admire and love to use, like those hand-crank eggbeaters that still work just fine. Things that resonate with the spirit of their makers' hands and hearts: the chair your grandfather made, your six-year-old's lumpy pottery, an afghan you knitted yourself ."

This simply put means we spent some time this week Spring cleaning - paring down - rediscovering what we most value and letting other things go. It is a very freeing process and means that your life / home/ art becomes your own - authentic, not subscribing to the dictates of the latest trend or home decor magazine. It seems that this Japanese aesthetic ideal has met a Scottish Croft house and the two are becoming uniquely one.

twigs  tied around a jam jar make a lovely vase for our first daffodils

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