Imperfect Beauty: A Contradiction in Terms?
The glimmer of a smile in a work-worn face; an arched back holding a hammer aloft; a proud chair standing alone, abandoned, in a sunlit courtyard: this is the stuff of human existence. This is what we call ordinary.
Yet where should beauty be found if not in banality, in the fleeting gestures and repetitive rhythms of daily life that fade so far into the background that they come to seem workaday, unlovely – in a word, imperfect?
We tend to think of beauty as constitutionally flawless. Yet identikit perfection is essentially bland. It lacks a creative pulse.
The longer I spent in Madagascar the more I was touched by the elemental energy of a society which does so much with so little, where everything we throw away is revered and remade in an endless cycle of creation.
My camera captured the fragile beauty of hidden corners and creased countenances, reveling in the dignity of the ordinary, in the poetry of the everyday. It revealed more forcefully than a thousand words that imperfections are not only intrinsic to our humanity but to the concept of beauty itself.
A hymn to human ingenuity in a land where machines are not yet king, where life still has soul.
All images and text © Jessica Hilltout
By Jessica Hilltout