When my daughter was a toddler I became highly attuned to the goings-on at ground level, since she was always finding things to try and eat there. One autumn day we were sitting amongst fallen chestnut leaves and I was struck by their resemblance to Frank Gehry’s architecture. We gathered some leaves and brought them to my studio. I propped up the leaves by planting their stems in clay and photographed them from a low angle using window light bounced off of tin foil for a metallic effect. In the camera’s viewfinder the fading leaves rose again as *wabi sabi towers and temples.
I enjoy elevating the modest into the monumental. As Walt Whitman said, “I believe a bladeof grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.”
*Wabi sabi represents a comprehensive Japanese worldview or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.