A beginner’s guide to constructing the universe-The mathematical archetypes of nature, art and science, states: “In ancient Greece the advanced students ... who were engaged in deep studies of natural science and self-understanding where called mathematekoi, “those who studied all”. The word mathema signified “learning in general, to be aware, to awaken”.
If there is such a thing as mathematekoi ( a curious one) using clay as a medium...I am one.
I will start in 2012 with making of Gateway 21
This Easter I was invited to make a work for The Stations of the Cross exhibition held at Wesley Uniting Church in Perth. I have accepted after a serious consideration and soul search. To tell the truth, I didn't even know the meaning of The Stations of the Cross until I did some research. I accepted without any idea how to approach the theme, but knowing that it will be a spiritual challenge as well as artistic one.
Catherine Czerw, curator of the exhibition asked participating artists to nominate 3 favourite stations in order toallocate each station to an artist.
Mine was: Station 4: Jesus Meets His Mother
I decided to approach the theme from mother’s perspective and examine and depict the emotions mother would feel watching her son carrying a cross. The subject is extremely personal and emotional to me as my daughter suffers chronic pain. The turmoil of emotions felt when you watch your child suffer is hard to put into words. There is helplessness and sorrow, hopelessness, inadequacy, love, vulnerability, emptiness and silence.
So here it is.
Mother is represented by the larger bowl / vessel / womb that contains / embraces / encircles the smaller bowl (son) at a tilted angle. She contains and embraces her child and his cross. Cross is etched, cut and pierced deep into the surface. Shape of the vessel is reminiscent of holy water font.
In many cultures there is association of a clay pot with a human body. Potter is a primal artisan who takes a lump of earth and creates beautiful forms. Vessels.
Body is a vessel that contains life, emotions, breath, thoughts...
In my studio I have images by Delhi based photographer Bandeep Singh. His Antarghata series explores avid interest in the relationship between human body and earthen pots, and I find them beautiful and inspirational.
It is interesting to note that Sanskrit word for pot also means body.
Image for the cross that is etched, cut and pierced deep into the surface of the inner bowl is inspired by the image (appropriately) from the tattoo web site. Unfortunately I did not write the artists name at the time. I would like to acknowledge the artist, so if anybody knows who it is, please let me know.
I like this image as it is complex,multidimensional,formal,architectural and at the same time sketchy, open, unfinished and not totally defined. I did not want the cross to be heavy, overbearing and funerary. I wanted it to hold the gaze and become mandala like, focus for meditative thought.
It is actually mathematical background for a highly decorative celtic cross.
I wanted the bowl to be at the certain height, but definitely not on a plinth, so I made a metal stand.This image is from the opening of the exhibition. The person in the middle is Rev. Don Dowling - now owner of the artwork.