Monday, 14 January 2013

SHIBUSA - Extracting Beauty

Issue No 51 The Textile Society (December 2012) by Margaret Waring.

Shibusa – Extracting Beauty Edited by Monty Adkins and Pip Dickens
University of Huddersfield Press 2012, £20 (currently reduced from £24)

This is a fascinating book taking its title from the Japanese concept that revolves around the skilful blending of restraint and spontaneity.  Shibusa has a refinement that gives spiritual joy.

This series of 8 essays, grouped into 3 parts, will appeal to both the specialist and the generalist reader.  The artist partners explore the language of art and the relationship it has with this quintessential Japanese concept using the 7 attributes defined by Yanagi Setsu.

In ‘Exploding Stillness’ Adkins lays out his approach to composition and sound-scapes with interesting examples of musicians and artists coming together in the recent past, citing Rothko, Riley, Bacon and others, whilst Dickens essay The Katagami Stencil- Hand-made Machine’ focuses on the hub of the collaboration, for it rests on the 4 elements in the careful and painstaking making of the stencil for dyeing Kimonos  - smudging, repetitiveness, and layering and the interlocking of linear and motifs.  These are elements that are frequently used by listeners and observers when describing music or visual art.

The website Vimeo includes the video, Dickens paintings and Adkins composition brought together. 

Roy Exley’s essay ‘Sharing Textures: Crossovers in Art’ gives the reader a superb summary of contemporary crossovers and is well worth reading first. 

The shared characteristics are set out and reiterate what has been said by both the  artists.  The final two essays, by Dickens and Mori, concentrate on the Kimono’s history, making and future and provide thought provoking comments for discussion, especially on the modern use of beautiful but damaged kimonos.  Dickens interviewed contemporary designers in Kyoto in 2011 specificall y for the book. 

The cover image “Katagami Sketch 32”is grey - a colour which is regarded very positively in the text!

More information about this book, and ordering information:
Book details:
Shibusa - Extracting Beauty
Edited by Monty Adkins and Pip Dickens
ISBN-13: 978-1-86218-101-4
Size: 280 x 210mm
Pages: 144
Number of images: 97
Images in colour: 89

published by University Huddersfield Press
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