You Have Beautiful Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

The more I look at our world, the more I realise that there is overt beauty as well as covert beauty – and it takes a rarer sort of eye to see the latter.

Yes, a stunning view in a tropical country is beautiful; holy hell, the smoky eyes of the Vogue cover girl are breath-taking;  oh my god, the curve of the blown glass sculpture in an interior design photoshoot is gorgeous …. but to me there’s a crude obviousness to these things.

They are overtly beautiful.

The beauty I’m interested in is a much more subtle, discreet and clandestine creature.

The beauty I’m interested in is not pointed out by Society’s diamond encrusted forefinger; shouted about, held up and put on a gilt-gold pedestals with red carpets and fairy lights and a high price tag.

The beauty I’m interested in is found in unnamed, uncelebrated places. It’s the patterning in tilework on a dilapidated building, the formation of a broken shell, the crusted purple lichen on a rock and the old man who ambles like an ancient, walking museum through cobbled streets.

Each week, when we’ve made our paintings at the Venusian Arts Coffee House, we often stand and admire the paint formations left on the white porcelain plates.

We sometimes arrange those plates and take photographs of them and appreciate the beauty of the swirls created by the art of Life painting Itself.

For a long time I wasn’t sure what this sort of beauty was called. Then I learnt about Japanese aesthetics – the concept of Wabi-Sabi – and realised that in other cultures there’s an understanding and even language woven around the broader spectrum of beauty and perception.

This sort of beauty is a like a colour that people in the West have been conditioned not to notice. Or name.

It requires a special sort of eye, a specific sort of looking, to find the beauty that we haven’t been told to see.

They’re the sort of eyes

and that’s the sort of beauty,

I’m interested in.

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