Thursday, 29 November 2018

Wabi-Sabi I

Size approx: 12” x 12”
by Terry Phillips
Quadra Island, BC

Materials and Techniques:
Upcycled Linen/Tencel blend, commercial batik, cotton thread, cotton/poly batting, cotton backing. Janome domestic machine stitching, hand appliqué.

Theme:  "Oxymoron".  The theme for this piece was admittedly a struggle to begin with. I googled every 'oxymoron' I could find and wasn't happy with any of the traditional ideas of an oxymoron. It wasn't until reading one of my Japanese garden books that I realized I have been working on an oxymoron garden for the last year.

'Perfect Imperfection' is my oxymoron and could be one way to describe the aesthetic of this asymmetrical, rough, and simple wabi-sabi garden. The imperfection is seen in the rough rocks and the gravel. The perfection is man's attempt to shape the land by the placing of the rocks and the daily raking and cleaning.

Wabi-Sabi could be said to have three tenets; imperfection, impermanence, and transience and is derived from early Buddhist teachings. By immersing yourself in the viewing of a miniature rocky landscape or an ancient gnarled tree you begin to see and understand man's relationship to our place on earth.

As you view this piece I hope to impart a small glimmer of Wabi-Sabi.

Here is a detail.

1 comment:

  1. I love this piece, just like the real zen gardens, it has such a peaceful aesthetic. Beautifully stitched, and so well thought out - a wonderful work of art. Thank you for sharing this, I really enjoyed viewing your work this afternoon.