If my low key approach to the local Fleurieu landscape + seascapes has been one of immersion or absorption within the remnant scrub, country roads, and coastal rocks, then the pictures that emerge from this are of the moments in my ordinary, everyday world. They are pictures of vignettes and moments that are fleeting and often missed.
Then it dawned on me. This is not a project based work. Therein lies the problem I have been having. I have been trying to make it a project based work and it just hasn't worked. So I pushed the work into the archives where it lay forgotten. I felt embarrassed by it.
They are simple pictures of the present moment of things that are modest and humble--eg., seaweed and rocks as in this picture. They are of things that are imperfect, impermanent, incomplete, weathered. These are pictures of the present as the seaweed would have disappeared on the next days walk and the rocks would be covered with seawater.
These pictures of humble things in a particular moment, which have emerged from my everyday walking with the standard poodles, have been approaching a kind of visual poetics without me actually realising what was happening.
One way of understanding this kind of poetics is through the Japanese concepts of Wabi-sabi. This is based around an understated beauty that exists in the modest, rustic, imperfect, or even decayed, an aesthetic sensibility that finds a melancholic beauty in the impermanence of all things.
Sabi centres on the ambience of the solitary or quiet moment and to an appreciation for the mellowness that comes with age, the quality of faded perfection in truly old things. Wabi is an embodiment of all that is modest, humble and self-effacing and it values the ordinary, humble, unpretentious objects - all too often taken for granted. Wabi is often paired with sabi: Things begin wabi; they end sabi.
This emphasises aesthetic experience in everyday life and in connection with nature; places a high value on the particular thing or object, expresses a sadness or sorrow over the fragility of things. Falling blossoms, dying flowers, autumn leaves on raked sand or floating atop the dark, still waters of a pond, all carry about them the idea that in the blossoming of perfection is the seed of destruction.