An artist confronts their vulnerability daily. One immediately has to address how free they are, how many snares one is bound up in, where one’s energies leak out. The realization that there is no freedom in escape screams loudly to someone trying to create. There is nowhere to go but towards oneself. One may ask, what do they know? Why are they an artist? What is one doing with their lives? What does one have to offer the world? Where have we been as a collective consciousness and where are we going as a collective?
I dropped out of the art world after showing for over 10 years. I found the whole experience unsatisfying and disruptive to my own process of discovery. I went to live in the woods so I could hear nature and myself communicate, and I could figure out these big questions. I have continued to make work all these years, seeking my own vision, but the driving force has been what will speak to the collective.
I have looked at my gaps in knowledge and have tried to learn what I can so far about the evolution of mankind’s consciousness. I am certain as a species we have left behind hidden treasures that we can dig up and restructure to help move humanity forward to the possibility of a more peaceful and satisfying world. The Sumerians, the Egyptians, and the Greeks had mystery schools to train their populous in the ways of higher consciousness. Can we bring those teachings back, in a modern way? Can Art speak to this question? What would this look like? These questions inspire me.
Image making is an alchemical process of suspending an idea in a vessel so one can step back, to contemplate, reflect, and to train one’s reaction and action skills. Art-making requires a very strong will. One is always in a twofold conjunction of inner realities and outer facts, visible and invisible realities. The practical necessities of surviving continually try to eat away one’s resolve.
I had a dream recently about a man who had committed suicide. In the dream, he calls me up. I ask him if he is still alive, and he says no. I ask him how he is. He tells me nothing has changed he is still in pain only now it is worse because he can do nothing to change himself. The veils between life and death are very thin but in life, we can act, we can seek to improve ourselves, learn from others, and ask for help. We can mine humanity’s gifts.
Wherever there are great treasures there are also demons, who guard the hidden. One must make their way past the demons and then one must be able to protect the treasure themselves. The treasure must be shared with humanity, or one will lose it. If one can attain that, then creative consciousness becomes the creator and the creation simultaneously, and then one knows freedom.
“The beginning, the middle, and the end, the birth, the growth, and the perfection of everything we see is accomplished by means of opposites, within opposites, toward opposites. Where there is opposition there is action and reaction, there is movement, diversity, multiplicity, succession, and vicissitude.” – Giordano Bruno
“Not one of the senses must slumber, and even if not all are equally awake, all must be stimulated and not repressed or neglected.” – Novalis
“There is a world we must recover hidden in the very act of sensible perception.” – Henry Corbin