Although I have been attempting to create the tiny object that is the haiku for almost four years now, I am just beginning to learn a thing or two about this complex, abstract and subtle form. The extract below relates to my solo exhibition ‘A Year in Haiku & Haiga’ where I displayed a selection of Artist’s Books and Paintings related to the haiku and haiga tradition. Since then I have learnt more, worked more and will go on learning and working, hopefully, for a long time to come.
A Year in Haiku & Haiga
In this series of work I have concentrated on creating poetic images in the form of haiku and haiga. Part of the process was to evoke beauty and lightness in the simplicity of both the written word and the accompanying visual image. Adhering to Basho’s instructions, I worked on ‘seeking beauty in plain, simple, artless language’ by observing ordinary things very closely and describing them simply. At the same time I remained conscious of the duty of the haiku to evoke the relationship between the fleeting moment and the eternal.
The essence of the haiku I made seeped into the painting and printing process. This resulted in a subtle understated imagery, expressed in a language true to the aesthetic of the haiku process. The techniques involved in making the visual imagery were painting using gesso and dry-brush layering, and screen printing with collage and stitching. Each season of the year has its own seasonal tonal quality as do the haiku, which were transcribed using a vintage Continental typewriter.
“Haiku is more than a form of poetry; it is a way of seeing the world. Each haiku captures a moment of experience; an instant when the ordinary suddenly revels its inner nature and makes us take a second look at the event, at human nature, at life.” A.C. Missias
“Follow nature, return to nature, be nature.” Matsuo Basho