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Wabi-Sabi State of Mind

Welcome to the first-ever Just Looking letter! My name is Menka, and I'll be your guide to noticing more.

Menka Sanghvi
Menka Sanghvi
1 min read
Wabi-Sabi State of Mind
Just Looking Instagram. Photo by @stonekidandcat

Hello Good Looker,

Welcome to the first-ever Just Looking letter!

My name is Menka, and I'll be your guide to noticing more. Each month I'll share some of my favourite ideas and prompts for finding more presence and creativity, and we'll explore the use of photography as a tool for doing this.

Wabi-sabi state of mind.
Our last meetup was on the theme of wabi-sabi, the appreciation of imperfection. It inspired me to write a blog about how we can find greater satisfaction in the humbler moments, such as looking at the wrinkled face of a relative, a withered tree under the winter sky, or a half-eaten biscuit.

Words that help us see: “Yirdit“.
I find that having a word for something really helps me to see it. Try noticing this: ‘yirdit’ – literally ‘earthy’, ‘muddy’; from ‘yird’, meaning both world and ground. Metaphorically, the happy, ‘grounded’ state that children get into when playing outside. Thanks to @robgmacfarlane for this word.

Photographer Valda Bailey.
Here is an artist that uses photography to depict subjects as subtle as the sadness of flowers. Her images have a dream-like quality, influenced by her background in painting. Some of her landscape work will be featured in a group exhibition in the gallery@oxo, Southbank, London. 11-15th April. Free admission.

Who’s Michael?
A portrait session with a twist. I loved this little experiment showing that a photograph is shaped more by the person behind the camera than by what’s in front of it.

Next London Meetup
2-5pm, 14th April 2018
Gallery@oxo, Southbank, London.
We’ll be exploring intentional blur. Sharpness is amazing, but if our objective is less about literal representation and more about conveying a feeling, then blurry photos can sometimes do a better job. Plus, we’ll be checking out the Valda Bailey exhibition together!

If you enjoyed this letter, spread the love and share it with a friend. And if you have any feedback or ideas please hit reply and say ‘hello’.

Yours in looking,


Menka Sanghvi Twitter

I'm a researcher, writer, and designer working on the theme of mindful curiosity. Just Looking is a project I started to help myself and others slow down and experience more wonder in the everyday.

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