Friday 27 March 2009

Ando Hiroshige - a mediation for troubled times.

We are in the teeth of the fiscal year end, the credit crunch is biting deeper everyday, jobs are evaporating and the world is going to hell in a hand basket, or so we the media tell us endlessly.

Is at times like these I visit one of my favourite artists and just let my eyes suck in the marks and splodges they made on paper or canvas. Long ago I gave up trying to understand art, now I look for the meaning I can see and what it means to me at the time I am looking at it. Today was one of those days and I dug out a book of pictures by Japanese artist Ando Hiroshige. Probably not a name you are familiar with but you should recognise this picture for it is arguably his most famous.

We cannot control our lifes. If we are set upon doing so we have abdicated ourselves from the peace that balances what is desired with what is possible. As Hiroshige shows us the great wave is in waiting for any boat. The wave is unpredictable, as uncontrollable now as it was at the dawn of time. We wonder will the slender boats and the fishermen in them survive or will they be overwhelmed? Risk is a human constant, it has to be accepted, embraced and then laid aside.

What we can do, we do.

Beyond that, we endure, our endurance framed by a sense of what matters and what does not. The worst that can happen is not that we may be overwhelmed by disaster but to look back in that final moment and realise that we did not live life.

We are fallible and the real antithesis of achieving peace is to refuse to recognise failure, to learn by our mistakes and to pick ourselves up and start again.......

......Anyhows Hiroshige painted his pictures between 1811 and 1858.

Here are some of my favourites Enjoy :-)

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