Yulia Lennon Art Studio holding Japanese tea ceremony and reception for new Wabi-Sabi exhibition
On Saturday, Yuliya Lennon Art Studio and Gallery is holding its second reception and tea ceremony for the Wabi-Sabi exhibition, which will be held at the gallery for the entire months of October and November. With paintings by the eponymous Yuliya Lennon, sculptures by Daniel Elmer Landman, pottery by Angela Beguhl, and abstract paintings by Marlene Struss, the exhibition is united by the aesthetic theme for which it is named, rooted in the Japanese tradition of tea ceremonies and characterized by transience, imperfection, modesty, and appreciating nature.
In a joint interview with the featured artists, Mr. Landman said the idea for a group art show centered around Wabi-Sabi came from a book on the subject that he read and passed to the other artists. In particular, the sculptor was fond of the aesthetic’s philosophy of imperfection.
“I liked the idea of imperfection, and beauty in imperfection, and things either in a state of becoming, or ascension, or decline,” Mr. Landman said.
The imperfection of Wabi-Sabi in part entails simple objects in some state of use, and perhaps even objects that have endured the natural elements. To demonstrate this, Mr. Landman pointed out how many of his sculptures in the exhibition utilize rusted material and small fragments.
When creating her abstract paintings characterized by swirling collages of color, Ms. Struss employs the natural elements of Wabi-Sabi philosophy by looking for “happy mistakes.” This entails working on a supine canvas, applying different colored paint, and watching it form and dry in its own natural way. Though she sometimes splatters paint on her surface or moves it about in ways akin to some force of nature, like blowing on it, very rarely does Ms. Struss do any methodical drawing on her pieces.
“I try not to mess around with it too much and contrive something. I like to let the painting paint itself as far as it can” she said.
Nature also takes its course with Ms. Beghul’s work, as evidenced by the apparent cracks in the side of her bowls displayed in Ms. Lennon’s studio. As the potter explained while pointing out one of her pieces, the bowl was stretched using a pottery sling and took three days to reach the desired point. Though some parts of the bowl were worn and cracked by the end, she let them be.
“It slowly just kind of blows up like a balloon, and these cracks on the side, I just let them do their thing. They’re not structural, but they’re definitely Wabi-Sabi,” she said.
For Ms. Lennon, a Wabi-Sabi work of art strips away all of the “unnecessary noise,” an idea she employed on one of her paintings featured in the exhibition. Though under the layers of added black, white, and brown paint the image is actually a photograph of a crowded train station in London, England, Ms. Lennon used the paint to obscure all the finer details of the setting until only the “idea” of a train station remained.
“That for me is what Wabi-Sabi represents,” Ms. Lennon said.
Tomorrow’s Wabi-Sabi reception will run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with the tea ceremony held between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Yuliya Lennon Art Studio and Gallery is located at 1214 H State St. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and is closed Sundays and Mondays.