Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Artful Explorations

Summer is on our doorsteps with gardening,mowing and all the attendant diversions of this much loved time of the year. It has taken great discipline to get back into the studio to produce new work but somehow I have managed to have a children's book underway (inspired by the lushness of growing things) and to create new works on paper for a recent exhibition.
Luckily since the Chinese presentation last December, fascination with the visual impact of the eye as symbol, continues to inspire and challenge.
Instead of using it to represent cultural viewpoints, as we attempted in Eye to Eye, I have been exploring eye symbols that exist in Eastern and Western popular iconography to represent philosophical ideas.
In this case, the ideas of Materialism vs. Spiritualism in our current day.
As financial entities continue to topple and the West is slowly weaned from the opiate of compulsive consumerism, other parts of the world are experiencing a surge of materialistic opportunities to“ buy their dreams”.
At the same time, religions compete with all the shiny new products for the attention of the populace.
Individuals that are more in tune with spiritual pursuits try to find a balance between the two in this topsy-turvy world we all share. The spiritual adage to "be in the world but not of it" has never been more difficult.
For this conceptual exercise I selected the “All-Seeing Eye of God” from the Great Seal of the United States that embellishes the American one dollar bill to represent Materialism…that “Almighty Dollar” that expresses, albeit tongue in cheek, the will to do anything to amass large quantities of it.
And other “all-seeing eyes” are from the East… painted ones that embellish the crests of Swayambunath Stupa and Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu,Nepal to represent the idea of Spiritualism.
I am working here in mixed media with water soluble printing ink on printmaking paper to create these images. As contemporary cultures worldwide are in such a state of flux, East and West is used just to denote the source of the imagery, not to attribute the exclusive label of spiritualism and materialism to Eastern or Western points of view.
I hope you enjoy considering the philosophic overlays as they wrestle for your attention. Two recent works from this series are posted on the sidebar to the right.
If you haven't been to our blog Eye to Eye in awhile please stop by as we are always adding pictures and updates to it. There's a link on sidebar to the right. We are delighted to have visitors from all over the world.
Whereever you may be here's wishing you many pleasant diversions as the Summer Solstice approaches!

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