Tag Archives: mono no aware

A change is as good as a rest

More fun things ahead on week 1 of my off-site study break!  I’m off to West Dean College tomorrow for a weekend of textile basketry. Look like it should be fun as well as a good set of new skills to add to the portfolio. We were asked to put together some images, colours, or textures for a motif that we could draw upon over the weekend. I have an idea in my head, which is aligned although slightly tangential to the current direction of my MA project. I think however it might be good for me to explore something just from my quilter’s instinct with pattern and colour, and take a break from worrying about my project for a bit.

The idea is about the Japanese concept of mono no aware, which is how I would describe my feelings towards nature. Mono no aware is roughly translated as the pathos of things – a sensitivity to things, both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life. According to mono no aware, “a falling or wilting autumn flower is more beautiful than one in full bloom; a fading sound more beautiful than one clearly heard. The sakura or cherry blossom tree is the epitome of this conception of beauty; the flowers of the most famous variety, somei yoshino, nearly pure white tinged with a subtle pale pink, bloom and then fall within a single week.” Mono no aware states that beauty is a subjective rather than objective experience, a state of being ultimately internal rather than external.

This is a couple of drawings and colour swatches I have put together.  Let’s see what I end up making!

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