When my daughter was a toddler I became highly attuned to the goings-on at ground level, since she was always finding random things to eat there. One autumn day we were sitting among fallen chestnut leaves and I was struck by their resemblance to Frank Gehry’s architecture. The low autumn sun bounced off the leaves with a shimmer like burnished titanium. We gathered some leaves and brought them to my studio. I propped up the leavesand photographed them from a low angle using window light bounced off of tin foil to amplify the metallic effect. In the camera’s viewfinder the fallen leaves rose up again as *wabi sabi towers and temples.
I enjoy elevating the modest into the monumental. As Walt Whitman said, “I believe a blade of 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.