For this Monochrome Monday, I felt this old, antique horse trailer was an opportunity to discuss the relationship between our appreciation of antiques and the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi.
Most of us have an appreciation for antique objects. The rarity, classic construction, weathered surfaces and perhaps, the remembrance or our own distant past. Ironically, there is also intrinsic beauty found amidst rusty relics, patina surfaces and weathered structures. These sensibilities can be associated with the traditional Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi.
“Wabi” is the paradoxical beauty perceived from natural imperfection and asymmetry found in hand made objects. This is in contrast with unnatural “perfection” derived from machine manufacturing. Wabi originates from the notion of minimalism, peaceful existence and harmony with nature.
“Sabi” is the aesthetic qualities of well used, and well cared for objects, achieved only over a long period of time. Think of a well-worn pair of blue jeans, green oxidized copper tools or sculpture, and upcycled, distressed barn wood home furnishings. Sabi originates from Buddhist teachings around the temporariness aspects of life, and appreciation of the wisdom, dignity and grace that comes with old age.
Brought together, in Wabi-Sabi there is a humility and simplicity, appreciation of the marks of time, acceptance of our transience in the natural cycle of life, and an enlightened communion with nature. There is also an acceptance of the world, and ourselves, as genuine—without artificial adornment or embellishment.
When I observe antique objects, or abandoned structures, I appreciate the craftsman’s labor of love and my mind envisions the souls who once used the objects or inhabited the spaces. They were once part of, and contributed to, the life experiences of the original owner. Made of wood, metal, stone or woven fabric, they are like us, subject to Mother Nature’s slow and persistent process of reclamation.
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This farm is located on Shottower Rd, which leads to the Shot Tower State Park, just off I-77 near Austinville and Ft. Chiswell, Viriginia. A local farmer told me this abandoned farm once belonged to a relative of the famous Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. It was foreclosed on and now stands mostly abandoned. The property is currently used to store rolls of hay, as seen in the previous post in this series.
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On a half day fishing trip in July, we were heading out on the Little River toward the ocean when we passed this abandoned shrimp boat during low tide at the intersection with the Intracostal Waterway. I captured several high tide images coming back up the river to Calabash. A year ago, there was apparently engine trouble and the boat ran aground on Bird Island, near Sunset Beach. It was later towed to this spot, and then abandoned.
Not until I was editing these pictures did I notice the boat’s name – Sum Day. Ha, not the “Love Boat” graffiti painted on the front. I then recalled photographing the Sum Day back in the summer of 2015.
Below are some photos of the Sum Day from my August 2015 Calabash! post. For the best viewing experience, click on these images to see a high resolution version.
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My next post in this series of Calabash vignettes features a cool abstract, closeup composition of shrimp boat netting. Both black and white, and color versions are included, as each has it’s own qualities and characteristics. I’m leaning towards the monochrome because of strong contrast and elevated texture, shapes and patterns.
On the other hand, the color composition is a more authentic representation of the subject matter. Color brings slightly more presence of the netting’s weathered tonality. Because of the detail in both these compositions, they are best viewed by clicking on the image to view a high resolution version.
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The fishing fleets of Calabash, North Carolina provide beach vacationers with fresh seafood 7 days a week. This series of post features vignettes captured along the pier on the Calabash River.
I found this shrimp boat fisherman mending a net after a shark had bit a 14 inch hole in one of his nets!
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This kind lady from Shallotte, North Carolina graciously allowed me to photograph her as she raked for clams late in the afternoon, just after low tide, on the Intracostal Waterway in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
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Part two of the lovely sunrise captured at Ocean Isle Beach. This post includes a couple of monochrome compositions as well. While the lovely color hues are a significant feature in the color compositions, the monochromes elevate the interesting patterns and textures of the clouds and tidal morning seascape.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version from my portfolio site.
I finally got around to processing and posting this first group of compositions from my visit last April to Patriot’s Point, Charleston, South Carolina.
Thanks for stopping by today! For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.