to Define Beauty … an Instagram collaboration..


I’ve been thinking about the ongoing ripple effect that happened from a collaboration I did last week on Instagram with a fellow artist who lives on the other side of the globe.  I know and respect her work and when she asked if I was interested in joining her on a shared photo / poetry experience I was thrilled to give it a go.

It was an Instagram challenge started by ilsemarie1 and  chris49007  who take breathtaking photographs . They began by suggesting to each other that they write a poem or add prose to a photograph that would ‘ Defiine Beauty ‘. They then in turn broadcast the challenge to anyone who was interested in playing along.

It was about collaborating. Just for fun , just for the joy of it.  Posting the photo and poetry at the same time.

This is when I was asked if I was keen to participate, just for the fun of  it by my friend from the other side of the world.

Suzi  Poland lives in Australia.  She and I have been crossing paths in the online world for almost two years now.   I follow her on her blog and on instagram and it was through her hearing about the challenge from her friends ilsemarie1 and chris49007 that she asked if I would be interested doing it with her .  She had written her poem already and asked permission to use one of the photos I had posted on Instragram as a backdrop in accompaniment to her text.  I in turn chose a photograph that I had seen in her Instagram feed and added my definition of beauty from that image. This is my contribution to:


” Define Beauty “

WM operahouse


Beauty is in the seeking
For truth
For honesty
For belief
For answers

Beauty is the mystery
In the unseen
In the unanswerable
In the unknown
In the uncertain

Black and white misty grey
Shifting light
Hard angles fading
In and out
Water lapping , slapping
Beauty is here.
Seek it , find it , know it
Honor it for it’s values of greys
It’s here, it’s there …

Photo: @suzipoland
Poem: @sandymairart

I see beauty everywhere all the time  and I find myself not infrequently putting together little lines of poetry in my head as a way of expressing my ideas. But I have never broadcast my words in such a public way . Suzi has such beautiful pictures of her world in Australia but for whatever reason on this particular day I saw such beauty in the greyness of that photograph.  My world is often surrounded by mist and grey as you can see from the photo at the top of this entry .  I liked the way her photo chose me or I chose it.

But doing it together is not like doing it alone. It’s the trust of being able to post and tag at the exact same time and when the other half of the equation lives on the other side of the globe, it made for some logistical challenges.

We communicated by whatsapp and email and organized ourselves to be ready to 3,2 1 , go…

I would encourage you to read her blog post here where she shares not only her perspective on the collaboration process, but also her beautiful words of poetry. You will also see the photograph of mine she chose as an accompaniment in the challenge.

When time came to post and these two very unique landscapes coincided , visually I thought it was another definition of beauty.

The ripples continue to be felt in my Instagram world from people all over the globe getting a chance to read and share what Suzi and I created together. And I in turn have been introduced via the online world to some wonderful and creative people sharing what they see in their world.

Doing it together was better than doing it alone.

7 thoughts on “to Define Beauty … an Instagram collaboration..

  1. Lovely post Sandy, thanks, it was a wonderful experience to work with you, certainly better than doing it alone. Many thanks also to Ilse and Chris too for creating the challenge so we could join in. Simply beautiful.

    • Ditto back Suzi. I know you could have well gone it on your own or with another creative soul and I’m so glad we did this together. Much the richer for the whole experience. And yes, so thankful that Ilse and Chris started the ball rolling.

  2. Your words flow into a great poem which flows into my heart. With gratitude I say thank you Sandy. My collaborator Ilse-Marie is so creative and possesses an immense heart. She is a catalyst for many, me included. Thank you for your art. Your heart.

    • Poetry in your response Chris. So touched by this whole experience really . Atoms of support and positive energy pinging off each other around the world. What a wonderful way to meet someone. So timely to be in the sphere of Suzi who was circling yours and Ilse-Marie’s world at just the right moment to all come together like this.

    • Such generous praise Chris. It has been such an enriching process to be involved in meeting so many talented people, of which you are one. So thoughtful of you to take the time to stop by.

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