Japanese style has brought many aesthetics to the world that have been adopted by Western culture. Among these are ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, and bonsai, the art of cultivating trees.
Another popular aesthetic is known as Wabi-sabi, the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature.
It’s this idea of the impermanence of natural objects that led artists May Britton and Lorrie Saunders to create art using natural objects like the grapevine.
“It all began with the idea of doing an exhibition where the exhibition itself is the medium.”
Lorrie says she hopes people recognize the rustic beauty of the grapevine in the work the two artists put together.
What’s incredible about the pieces that May and Lorrie created is that they worked seamlessly together. While one artist was working on part of a project, the other would work on another part and the two would come together. They wanted to ensure that when spectators viewed the finished product, they couldn’t tell who did what or even that there were two artists involved.
May says, “she had the initial idea and the two of us worked on everything else. The name, deciding how many pieces, the material.”
The final result of the Wabi-Sabi project is one of limited human interference as the artists simply allowed nature to do what it wanted.
“We did manipulate the vine and we did some twists and we worked it, but still you can only do so much. You have to let the vine guide you.”
Wabi-sabi was a temporary exhibit at Popblossom in Monticello Arcade. For more information about director Lorrie Saunders and to find out about future exhibits visit their website.
To learn more about May Britton, visit her website.
Videography for this episode is by Josh Wingard & Laura Christian.