'THE GREAT WAVE', KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849)
For the past week I have been transfixed by the news reports coming from Japan - entire towns swept away in the waves within moments, the ensuing shadow of radiation... the incomprehensible consequences of a natural disaster followed immediately by the threat of a man-made one. The stories and images put one's own daily concerns into perspective very quickly. It occurred to me that the pursuit of beauty and thoughtful design somehow seems even more meaningful in the context of such events, not less. It is so important to be constantly - and acutely - conscious of what and who we surround ourselves with. It could all be gone in an instant.