The Eye Of The Beholder by PhoenixArt

Beauty is subjective…

I found this old romanesque garden statuette amongst some rubbish waiting to go to the dump. I felt moved that this lovely old lady, once the perfect example of classical beauty had been left amongst the trash because of a perception of aesthetic value. I noticed the age… I saw the cracked and crumbling cement… the exposed and rusted re-inforcing rod… the broken statue of a dog sitting by her feet…

… and I noticed the gentle curve of her face… the curl of her hair… her coy expression. Suddenly the dog was her loyal companion, sitting patiently by her shapely feet…

As I took (a bunch) of photos of this graceful old lady I wondered at our search for beauty. She almost seemed to me to be a solid representation of our quest for perfect beauty… and our contempt for that which no longer fits the mold. I could see in my mind what used to be… I could see the perfection that she and her guardian used to represent in a long-ago time of affluence and class.

…and I knew I couldn’t just let her go without leaving some reminder of the lesson she taught me…

Respect comes in many forms… and once we all learn to see the little things like this, the big things come easily. If we really want to make a difference to our world, something as simple as respecting what is still there is a good start.

In reality I realised, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places. It’s defined by many factors… time, conditions, and simple desire… even interest, or the lack of it. But mostly, just like in this case… beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Photo-manipulation. Created by combining several layers of my own images, including one photo containing my own and my dog’s shadows.

Published in
Pink Panther Magazine – 7 Jul 2010

Top Ten in
Pink Panther Magazine’s ‘The Portrayal of Women in Art 2010 (Writing Challenge)’ – 19 Jun 2010



  • Berns
    Bernsalmost 5 years ago

    I LOVE this!

  • Thanks Berns. Maybe I’ve obsessed so much with this statue because I can see the similarities between her and myself… slightly aged, a little worse for wear… abandoned and then found. Maybe it’s my sense of mortality catching up with me… ;o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • Greta  McLaughlin
    Greta McLaughlinalmost 5 years ago

    Awesome composition and story to go with it. Well done!!!!

  • Thanks Greta. I’m glad you like it. :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • A-New-Start
    A-New-Startalmost 5 years ago

    I love this one … wow… I even felt my heart pitter patter when I see this … Amazing work hon :) xoxoxox

  • Thanks so much Cheryl. I’m glad you like it. Great to see you here :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • Nadya Johnson
    Nadya Johnsonalmost 5 years ago

    Awesome work and writing! I think most of us beyond our 30’s (WAY beyond???) can identify! At one time, and in most cultures, “older women” were very highly valued members of the community. Now — ? We are all supposed to look like Raquel Welch. I guess. (Who is a very much an Older Women, but holy cow she looks 36. NOT on her own, either — lots of cosmetic work – surgery – for sure! ) Fine for Her but everybody can’t afford that sort of thing, and I think there’s WAY too much emphasis on youth and beauty in our culture now. Your collage is terrific, and what a thought-provoking piece!

  • Thanks for bringing up the value of the elderly in some cultures. In our native culture the elderly (not just women, in this case) truly are the most valued members of the community. Everyone helps to care for them if needed. It’s been this way for thousands of years.. but these days it’s more common to see the elderly abandoned and fending for themselves.
    I suspect that this happens in all cultures everywhere around the world. Our idea of usefulness has changed quite quickly. It makes me sad to see…
    Thanks so much for your comment Nadya :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • moonlover
    moonloveralmost 5 years ago

    Hi Sister, your writing so much echoes the cruel truth that our shallow society inflicts on women in terms of ageing, losing youth, beauty, etc. I wrote a piece of work in my RB site called ‘The Forsaken Muse’. You might like to have a look at it. Speaks somehow of a similar theme. More power, great woman!

  • Thank you for your lovely comment moonlover. I had a look at your work and it’s amazing. I’m so glad you brought it to my attention. Thanks for commenting on my work. I’m glad that so many people have found my words inspiring. :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimagealmost 5 years ago

    (a new challenge is open !)

  • Well, thanks so much :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimagealmost 5 years ago

    please add a source of inspiration related to the topic in the description area to be accepted in the challenge SAVE THE PLANET of the Inspired Art group !
    thank you !
    my best, your host (francis).

  • Done and done… :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawalmost 5 years ago

    Huge congratulations PhoenixArt

    (You can go straight to the forum here)

    Anna and VenusOak

  • Thanks so much ladies, and thanks to all who voted in the challenge. :o)

    – PhoenixArt

  • Anna Shaw
    Anna Shawalmost 5 years ago

    7 July 2010

    You can click on the banner to read the magazine, and you can download it from the site.
    Please would you leave any comments on the FORUM

    Sincere congratulations

    Anna and VenusOak

  • Wow, thanks ladies. I am so pleased. You could say ‘tickled pink’ :o)

    – PhoenixArt

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