The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

One More from Sati Kobashi (of São Paulo, Brazil): "Ancient Blossom"

Ancient Blossom, originally uploaded by Sati K..

I shall never forget the sensation of first seeing Sati Kobashi's photograph, "Ancient Blossom," (first posted to Flickr, Nov. 12, 2007, see: It emits such deep feelings of sadness.

I have returned to it tonight, not because I am sad, but because there are few, like Sati, who have the capacity to make such poignant imagery, out of the common place.

Yet, I am convinced that none of us need look far, since the most ordinary elements around us are so richly suggestive, so redolent in meaning and association. When we take time to ponder, the most common objects--as well as the rare--can speak visually of all that can be found in a persons heart--love, sorrow, longing, joy, hope, despair, and desire--all what you will.

Photography, one thinks to be a medium of fact. But, in sensitive hands, it becomes the instrument of poetry, making visible what is there, but unseen, or, at best, half-seen. Yet it is that other part, which we all so easily miss, that needs most to be seen, and, being seen, digested through the eye, to nourish the soul.

So when I saw Sati K.'s "Ancient Blossom," back in November, I wrote for her, and here repeat:

Sati's "Ancient Blossom":

Sober rose,
Like a love lost;
A cherished memory,
Held poignantly;
Sad to let go.
Yet we must,
If we are to survive.

--John Walford, November 12, 2007, dedicated to Sati Kobashi, tender soul, and--thanks to Flickr--now good friend.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

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I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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