Wabi-sabi – Beauty of Imperfection

Highly commended - Portfolios

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Portfolio details - Wabi-sabi – Beauty of Imperfection

Photographer: Jocelyn Horsfall
Competition: Competition 15
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England, United Kingdom

Wabi-sabi – Beauty of Imperfection by Jocelyn Horsfall

In Japanese culture, the concept of wabi-sabi is to find beauty in the imperfect, the impermanent and the incomplete; the acceptance of transience and imperfection, of ageing and decay. The roots of this philosophy are found in Zen Buddhism.

The windows of the glasshouses at Kew are a wonderful place to observe this. Viewed from the outside, the leaves and foliage become pressed against the glass, and wither and die over time. The skeletons are left creating beautiful patterns – a small world of wabi-sabi.

This series includes a variety of techniques to capture the beauty of the transience and decay of the leaves on the windows. Some straight shots, some multiple exposure, some painterly effects in post-processing, but all celebrate the beauty of the foliage, as it is caught in death.


Highly commended, Portfolio - Competition 15