The Scholar's Stone
The scholar stone, as a muse, epitomizes this body of work; as an object of focus, it represents the aspirational( as a summit to be conquered) as well as the introspective( the quiet weightlessness of meditation). These stones have been collected by the literati and invited into their homes as a surrogate of Nature for deep contemplation. We can see variations on this theme in Japanese and Chinese gardens and decor, integral to the structure of aesthetic practice and philosophy.
The stone elements that I try to include from Nature could be representative of a weathered mountain or coastal outcropping. Also with these stones, in the studio craft themes, I’ve implied raku, drip glaze, woodcut, tatami, ikebana, bamboo and silk paintings. The marriage of these various elements is an attempt to frame the scholar stones, each with their own unique story and environment.
This image on the left is a painting on silk. My stone (The Last Glacier) to the right emulates that sense of water and reflection.
This image on the left is of a traditional Zen Garden. The image above (This Mountain, Then the Next) represents with the weave a sensibility of the raking aesthetic of the Zen Garden. The weave of the fiber around the stones rather than representing the movement of water or air (as with the Zen Garden) is intended to simulate an interior landscape of a tatami mat and the stillness of meditation and focus.
The image on the left of a raku pot with drip glaze was the source of a visual element used to compliment the weave of these Mountains above. The 'drip' is representative of snow and erosion.