‘The Chasm’, March 2014. After some time and several life changes plus the advent of spring, art and nature have begun to flow again! This image which emerged to my surprise of its own accord represents nothingness, between and behind everything. It cannot be thought about, imagined, destroyed or created…. It is the only possibility without an opposite and which makes everything possible…
12 thoughts on “The Chasm”
Could you say more about how you see this as representing nothingness and no opposition? I see lots of (positive) opposition and am missing the nothingness concept somehow.
Hi Laura! As always there has been a long process behind the generation of this image. In keeping with my visual philosophic creative processes I’ve just spent about 6 months working on an image (the parent of this one) grappling with the existential task of reconciling division, opposites, conflict etc.. etc.. After a period of work and waiting (and some creative despair that is sometimes needed) the answer emerged. The answer is now obvious; The Chasm – the emptiness which is not touched, changed or affected by anything man made is where resolution lies. The image contains all the things you mention as a high tension that screams at the edge of nothing. Thank you for asking!
I am interested in how these images cut through the psychological/interpreting/ relative mind, and just are themselves…..whole and playful and good.
Well put Alison, that’s an astute assessment of what I’m aiming for. Many thanks.
It is somehow related to the japanese calligraphy practice I do every day. They are set forms, so it’s not something coming from nothing in that sense. But in another there is, because they show up differently everyday and somehow I know that they are alive and good.
I’m impressed Alison, by your everyday practice. Interesting connection you are making too. I can see as artists we create and build up our collection of symbols based on fundamental forms of feeling/responses to life which that can be ordered and positioned in endless arrays and patterns. I find this ordering and forming essential to deal with the question of being alive. The biggest dilemma is coming to terms with and arriving at a wholesome and honourable relationship to pure emptiness…
Good question. And how do we know……?
Well, I’d say to honour the reality of vision over material reality – I unmistakably FEEL when the right relationship and outcome is reached…
This is an interesting essay on what art has become and now needs to do..
“Why is there so little art, especially abstraction, that directly engages in what it means to be alive, to be human in this, our time, the way Picasso, Matisse, or for that matter Monet and Manet, did in their time? Why do we not innovate instead of transform? Why can we not discuss the way we SEE the world using new abstract images, different visions, rather than continue to make familiar recombinations of Modern productions? Why do we not really question the legacy we all so blindly follow? …”
Thanks for the link. I’m very interested in reading it……
This is only impressionistic as I am not versed in what is happening in the art world….
This does come over as a bit of a rant, although I share the frustration.I kind of get what he’s talking about. Except there’s something about contemporary art inevitably being about what it is to be alive in our time, isn’t it? It’s an expression of a world view and not separate. Damien Hirst was asking big questions — what is life, what is death, what is beauty? And coming up with certain conclusions…..! His spot paintings come out of a certain world view — a materialist one where the universe is flat with objects in it and a void in between….. Context is everything and all that….!?
Integral artists seem to be trying to say there is more to it than that, but are coming up with illustrative representations of Buddhas etc.
Some artists seem to be saying that material art is no longer relevant, and work with performance, ephemeral interventions into the social fabric… Some of it is depressing, and some sounds as if it is on to something. Like Tino Sehgal’s “constructed situations” which from the reviews sounds impressive. A kind of we-space art?!
But this makes me realise that what I desperately want to do is create art which expresses what it is to be alive now, which expresses the biggest picture I know and experience!
Your reply above, especially the last sentence, seems to me the most important sensibility for us– the intention for the expression of the “biggest possible.” This is inherently positive and inclusive– with a hope that stretches us beyond a monolithic modernist agenda and also honors the possibility of progress therein– enacted through our various more or less artistic researches.
Just read the article linked above. Seems to me that there are two very different topics being argued, though they may be related. The argument about the current art marketing scene is one topic– painted with a rather big brush that excludes a lot of very interesting work being done, some by successful big name artists, too; but, sadly, not therefore inaccurate. The second topic is, I think, about the nature of most art that is now being made and particularly in relation to the writer’s understanding of modernism. I see a far wider range of artistic endeavor being explored than the writer, admittedly some of it very backward looking, sometimes unconsciously so, worse than retro, perhaps. But, maybe more important, I see the article writer to be still attached to the very modernist understanding of the “new,” the avant guard, as the primary hallmark of artistic virtue, especially the visually stylistically novel. I haven’t any great suggestions for how else to define artistic progress, but novelty in itself is neither good nor bad, traditional aesthetics likewise; OVER attachment to either as a primary indicator of value does not seem to have much success in moving us forward. What will? Perhaps all our mark making efforts will reveal in time…?