Monday, September 17, 2012

Upcoming Earth, Water and Fire Exhibit

October 5 - November 14, 2012

I will be exhibiting a series of photographic prints on paper and canvas, centered around the theme of earth, water and fire. Most of these were taken as part of my graduate work in 2006-2007.  My masters portfolio centered on contemplative arts practices, and more specifically photography as a tool for contemplative looking.

Earth, Fire, Water - photo montage

My art is grounded in a practice of looking, an active engagement with the phenomenal world; to look at a leaf, light on a lake or litter on a city street… to look at life; all this is part of my contemplative art practice. To look, really look, I don’t mean just glance, for “to really see takes time,” as Georgia O’Keeffe once said, “like to have a friend takes time.” It requires slowing down, opening up a non-judgmental space where genuine contact can be made. It is as Robert Irwin’s biography title states, “Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees.” It is seeing with all the senses, a process of synchronizing mind and body.

Clouds on Water - c. 2006

 My photography is integrated into the larger context of years of meditative practice as a Shambhala Buddhist.  The teachings on art and meditation of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, founder of Shambhala Buddhism; a poet and interdisciplinary artist in his own right, are at the core of my practice as an artist and teacher.  His book of collected teachings on art & meditation, True Perception have been influential in my approach to this work.
These images are part of a larger inquiry into the nature of the Five Great Elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Space), as part of my study of Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy. The entire manifested universe is composed of these elements.  They form a mandala of energetic qualities that manifest on the coarse, subtle and secret levels in all aspects of life; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.  Understanding their nature we can more skillfully work with the world as it is.

I will follow this post with more on the elements in the coming days.  

For more information on Robert Irwin, I highly recommend his biography

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