The captivation of smoke.
Smoke signals, fire, designed motion.
[parfumare — “to smoke through.“]

smoke + art | the wavy line

The layering of smoke, art, incense, color and the tinting of dust — the tracery of par fum.

The smoky signals of journey.

I was contemplating dust, the drifting mote — the where and the how of it going everywhere — and I realized how hypnotizing the curling, unfurling and twirling of dusted matter of smoke really is — it fills space — it feels and fills out the open space in a manner that takes a place from being clear and lucid, then misted, and finally — a fog of smoke.

Incense is one of the greatest dust-bearing particulate creators there is, and to those that are perpetually infatuated with the zero dust principle — it might be intolerable. Incense-bearing places are invariably laden with dust. Being in the great monasteries of Bhutan and Tibet, these places are dusted with the fine mist of dust from incense. Western sacred spaces — when diffused smoke, censers of burning fragrance, are allowed — are frequently layered with the messages of dust.

We’ve commented on that, told stories of incense makers.
Bhutan, for one. China, another. The story of smoke, another.

smoke + art | the wavy line
“Ash throw and shadow, midday sun on the edge of storm clouds, began to rain heavily, lay down leaving a shadow, Galisteo, New Mexico,” 1999,
Andy Goldsworthy

I thought about Andy Goldsworthy‘s exploration of hurling colored soil [ash above] — or red dirt — in the air: red cloud. Dust shadows in the rain.

Then I discovered a larger world of “smoked art installations, colored smoke, smoke brushes.”

Some links:
Floating clouds: Berndnaut Smilde: http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/19555/floating-cloud-installation-by-berndnaut-smilde.html
Alberto Sevesos — smoked photographic morphing: http://www.visualnews.com/2012/03/22/alberto-sevesos-smoke-art/
Smoky imagery and photography: http://www.oddee.com/item_96868.aspx
Elegant smoke: http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/05/celebration-of-smoke-photography-and-smoke-art/
Smoke patterning: http://sensitivelight.com/smokeart/thumbs/
Smoke signals: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/for-those-who-see-by-daniel-schulze

And finally, these below, by Filippo Minelli — striking, otherworldly and, in a manner, evincing the character of “through fume” –  illustrative treatment of what one might consider “perfume.” Most perfumes have a tint of colour — I note in any scenting, the smelling of a fragrance — I see colour in my mind’s eye.

These images below remind me of that.

smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line
smoke + art | the wavy line

Smoke is a mysterious presence — it drifts and curls, illustrating the subtlest of eddies in the riverine motion of the whispered wind. The smoke offers a storytelling — the trail tells a tale of movement which is the trail of imagination — the wafting is like the mind and imagination, labyrinthine in its turning and twisting.

Watching it, I think — “what is the story that is being told to me, as I watch these tendrils?”

In quiet meditation, watching the curls of the mist of incense, there is much being revealed. A question might be for you — as you watch it — what tellings do you perceive?

Tim Girvin | Yaletown, Vancouver, British Columbia

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