Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic which features impermanence and imperfection. A western interpretation could be rustic elegance or shabby chic. Although wabi-sabi is much more than an aesthetic, it is mysterious and difficult to define. Accord ing to Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, “wabi- sabi can in its fullest expression be a way of life.” (Stone Bridge Press, Berkeley). In art wabi-sabi presents a vehicle for staying in the moment, with a willing release of perfection and complete acceptance of the result.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging, which westerners might interpret as understated elegance. I find many ikebana arrangements dramatic and simple, yet rich and beautiful. Presented more for contemplation than filling a room with scent and color, they often evoke a somber mood with a touch of reverence.
All of the work in this series came from the first two versions of Wabi-Sabi Ikebana, which were repeatedly layered and distorted in different ways to create new versions. With over 200 images in the series, it is impossible to show everything. I like to work with several files open at once, sharing information between them, so it is impossible to know which came first. The pieces evolve both independently and in unison with each other. Another tactic I take at times is to open an unrelated piece of artwork and combine it in some way with something new. Wabi-Sabi Ikebana used only two original files to produce a wide range of results. A larger selection of the series and a description of the evolution can be found in the portfolio book The Wabi-Sabi Ikebana Series: A Study of Impermanence.