Artist notes on 'Immersion'

March 23, 2017

 

This body of work is an expression of, and a meditation on deep rooted feelings of dissociation, isolation and the difficulties of realising a union between mind and body. I get trapped seeking meaning and understanding at the expense of becoming unaware of the life-giving source that supports and nourishes me each second and while my attention is on insignificance I miss the majesty of what is all around and within this existence. As a result life can sometimes appear devoid of any vibrancy.
The challenge therefore has been to try and express this perplexity of uncertain and unclear ideas into a tangible and communicative expression using color and form, or as Plato puts it ‘render the realm of perfect eternal ideas into it’s imperfect copy’.
But why?
Ultimately my hope is that meditating on interconnectedness and immersion in Life will attend to the struggle and ease some suffering. By portraying this paradox of solitude of our human condition I hope to relate and connect through relationships to others feeling the same smallness and often frightening isolation of this human incarnation.
I yearn to feel what poet Tagore eloquently describes as:
“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day,
runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures”.
In each of these paintings I have tried to return to some equanimity. I have used the painting practice as a way to release the struggle by embracing all aspects of experience without judgment. While making the art I adopted a loving kindness to all the inner feelings of confusion, frustration and limitation, and also an outward expression of compassion to others in the knowledge that they are likely to be experiencing the same difficulties in their lives.
The space and quietude I’ve injected into in my recent paintings is an attempt at opening up my inner space and embracing both the sea of sorrows and the unbearable beauty of this journey as human incarnation.
I’ve introduced simplicity and harmony in an attempt to subtly reveal the complexities of being alive, sensing, feeling and expressing, without trying to grasp, understand and explain every detail.
I have used this body of work to learn to trust the natural visual response intuitively and emotionally, and stop thinking that thinking is more effective and more valuable to the process than allowing the feelings and the eye itself to guide the way.
I’ve deliberately omitted anything that doesn’t strengthen the feeling I wish to express and throughout the development of each work I’ve maintained my attention on spaciousness, balance, poise, courage, vulnerability, harmony and stability to guide the development of each painting.
My hope is that the paintings evoke the same feelings in the viewer that inspired me to make them and that somehow, in a small way, we can for just a moment not just be ‘on’ this little world, alone and isolated but be together and ‘of’ this nature and vast universe, and with compassion see in each other both beauty and suffering.
 

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© 2014 Richard J Oliver Fine Arts

Richard J Oliver Art Paintings