Luke Hardy Patina
2015 Janet Clayton Gallery
Sometimes a word, or face, or a simple truth is revealed to you in a dream. But the more you try to read it, the sooner you wake. And although you’re back in the world of reason, you feel the lack of something.
These images are reflections upon transience, impermanence and the incomplete, on what pales and fades: patina, wear and imperfection.
The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi nurtures the authentic in its embrace of these three realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. The practice of kintsugi, or “golden joinery” as we might call it, illuminates as it mends conditions of disrepair: the shattered bowl, the broken cup.
Which brings me to our own skin: at once surface and vessel. Fragments of an ancient heart sutra appear in some of these images, vanishing into the skin on which they vaguely appear:
…no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind
no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no thought …
I’m not sure how the senses can truly be renounced before they have been indulged. Otherwise how do we know?
Photographers probably make terrible Buddhists. But yes, nothing lasts and nothing is finished… and photographs, in love with things fleeting, are the knowing of that.