Poor Beauty

‘Why should false painting imitate his cheek,
And steal dead seeming of his living hue?
Why should poor beauty indirectly seek,
Roses of shadow, since his rose is true?
Why should he live, now nature bankrupt is,
Beggared of blood to blush through lively veins,
For she hath no exchequer now but his,
And proud of many, lives upon his gains?’
[Sonnet 67, lines 5-12]


To favour an imitation to the detriment of its true form is the misguided preoccupation of society. Many artists and designers create works inspired by the living and natural using production processes that lay waste to the beauty they claim to hold so dear.

The more ‘successful’ these creators become, the more they make, and the bigger they grow, and the more they need to produce and consume to survive. Their contribution becomes increasingly needy and violent.

Friedrich Nietzsche said that the essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude. Perhaps the urgent task of the creative is to learn to better give thanks.

Take Physic, Pomp!


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