Washi (wa = Japanese, shi = paper) is paper that uses local fibers such as Gampi, Mulberry (Kozo) or Mitsumata, is processed by hand, and made using traditional techniques. Its unique features are its varied texture, thickness, strength, soft translucency and absorbent qualities. In the late 1800s, 100,000 families were making washi; now, there are about 350 remaining.
Arun has developed a love for this paper, and also for Chinese & Japanese landscape paintings. Without the talent to paint, he uses the camera to compose minimalist images using the principles of Chinese landscape painting such as creating depth with layers, and the use of empty or negative space. Software is the paintbrush that allows him to express the emotion of the scene. Finally, matching each image to a particular washi paper, taking into account its texture, thickness, and absorbent qualities, allows him to fully manifest this emotion.
Karen Connell states that she has always been fascinated with how people personalize their environment and personal spaces using color, natural materials and artifacts to create a sense of serenity, harmony and joy. Her work has always attempted to capture those feelings and share them with her viewers. These black and white flower studies are the current incarnation of a progression of work exploring this theme. Connell believes that flowers are integral to any positive human environment. She says, "I marvel at how just the sight of flowers can make me feel happy.”
In this series of flower studies, she has distilled the essence of how flowers affect us by emphasizing line and light and eliminating the distractions of color. “I am filled with wonder at the magical impact of light on these flowers” she muses.