Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Artist of the Week: Claudia Tennyson

I love art that makes you look at ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

I stumbled across this fascinating project when I was exploring the Japanese idea of wabi.* Go ahead, I'll wait while you take a look. (If you click on each small picture, a larger one will load.)

The artist, Claudia Tennyson, states that she was "partly inspired by the Japanese tradition of repairing cracked ceramic vessels with gold filigree. The craftsperson makes the cracks visible instead of hiding them, and the mending process increases rather than depreciates the value of the vessel."

Could there be a more perfect metaphor for writing? We are gilding the cracks. Not covering them up, not even truly fixing them, because, often, that's beyond our power. But we can say: Look. Look right here.

How do you see Claudia's art? Is she crazy to do this? What are the cracks you want to call attention to with your art?

*For a different take on wabi (or wabi-sabi, as it's more completely called) see this funny piece from Utne Reader. As they say, "are you wabi-sabi, or just wabi-SLOBBY?"


  1. I think Claudia Tennyson's idea is cool. But I'm really intrigued by the concept of wabi-sabi, which I think is something I've always been drawn to without knowing there was a name for it. And I like how you applied it to the process of writing.

  2. Oh, yeah, eisha. There is a whole "wabi-sabi" cult. I first learned about the idea in Eric Maisel's book Fearless Creating. I was going to include that book in this post, and so much more, but then I checked myself. It defeats the purpose of featuring a visual artist if I blab on too much. :)

  3. I love the rubber bands in the screen door. I'm wondering if people shouldn't just do that, anyway. For sheer coolness' sake.

    Boy. It's been a week of expanding chapters, and I have two more weeks to finish this revision as well. It's a hard, hard, HARD thing to swallow that some fixes are in fact beyond our power. Part of me squirms over the idea of pointing them out, but it's something to consider... we don't have ultimate control even in an artistic sense. Part of the revision process is ultimately allowing the other elements in the story to have their say other than just the plot we want to drive through... That's actually pretty deep.

    I wonder what happens to the house now. Is it kept as it is, or torn down, or what?

  4. The project was finished in 2005, but I don't know what happened after that. Maybe someone will check in here and let us know.


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