The Eye of the Beholder

by Harry Miller May 05, 2017

What is beauty, and can it be defined?

"Love of beauty is taste.  The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers are perhaps the most obvious of nature's beauty and if I asked you to pick the most beautiful thing in a garden, woodland or meadow it would most commonly be a bloom.

Shop Daniel's floral Meadow Collection and Bugs and Butterflies Collection. 

But what if I were to ask what the most beautiful thing in your… hmmm, let's say kitchen, what would you say: the pretty tea towel from a holiday, your favourite mug with the slight chip, an infant's work of art pinned to the fridge, the bowl of assorted fruits, your partner doing the washing up, or the contents of the rubbish bin?

Of course a case can be argued for all:

The tea towel has a very pretty symmetrical design which you painstakingly picked out at the end of a happy holiday.  It reminds you of a glorious time spent with loved ones in beautiful surroundings.

The mug you have purposely carried around with you from home to home.  It knocks the socks off the other ugly mugs for mug-in-hand-comfortability, and is a loyal subject for your tea rituals.  The chip - although still an annoyance as it just seemed to "appear" one day - gives the mug additional character. 

The child's artwork, although nondescript, is a loving expression of innocence, the epitome of art, and after all it was made for you.

The bowl of fruit is a classical composition of the beauty of nature: a rites of passage for the 'still life' artist. 

On the other hand your domesticated partner slaving away at the sink, (hopefully not chipping any more mugs), will have many layers of beauty... God willing.  They are a walking, talking piece of art with aesthetic beauty on the outside and multifaceted layers of beauty within; and if they hate doing the washing up then that's just another beauty box ticked.

If you were a microbiologist, you may think that the rubbish bin was the most beautiful thing in the kitchen.  Where else are colours and textures so diverse.  It is art in flux.  The beauty of decay.  Whilst this collection of food fodder was rejected by your palate, couldn't it now possibly be seen as an artists palette?        

If there is one thing we can take from these somewhat tedious kitchen related examples, it is that aside from visual appearance, it's the personal connections we make with the subject matter which greatly attribute to whether something is perceived as beautiful.     

To further our understanding of beauty, in the next instalment of this beautiful blog we will have a look at what makes visual art appealing, in its true intended sense, and delve deeper in to what we believe attributes to a beauty.

Shop Daniel's floral Meadow Collection and Bugs and Butterflies Collection. 




Harry Miller
Harry Miller

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