Mono No Aware ( mO-nO nO a-wa-rA)

ella carty

Estuary Estuary

I’m making a start on work for an Exhibition at Space2 in Watford at the end of this year. The exhibition is titled ‘Aware’, a Japanese word (pronounced: a-wa-rA), meaning something like ‘pathos’ or ‘a sensitivity to things’. It comes from the expression ‘Mono no aware’ which can be translated as ‘an empathy toward things’ or ‘a sensitivity to ephemera’. It’s a term that we don’t quite have a translation for, which intrigues me. My favourite translation so far, is ‘the ‘ah-ness’ of things’.

I have had this sense a lot recently when looking out to sea during my Cornwall visits. Light, Sea, Sky, Flora and Fauna: all passing through the seasons.  This first painting, a work in progress titled ‘Estuary’, is made from memories of looking over the estuary at Falmouth through a really luminous but hazy light. One of the things I want to communicate in these…

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