Revelation and the construction of conceptual narratives is what we use to define ourselves, and our place in the cosmos. These dual concepts hold the central interest in my work. We interface with the world around us with the stories we use to describe it, and depending upon what narrative we accept as ‘truth’, our vision of reality will change.
The compounded efforts of the artists from the past 150 years has broken free the artist’s toolbox and given practitioners an open palette in the creation of art. It’s an exciting privilege to be able to move across a spectrum of styles, mediums and subjects to explore underlying themes and stories as we navigate a culture saturated with visual content.
As an artist working across this spectrum, painting has and will always be my primary fascination. I find the capacity to transform the Earth (which has been refined into pigment and paint) into images…to be magical. The artist can convince the viewer of any reality presented to them. Not just objects of the external world but refined feelings from the inner plane.
The core of this transformation is mark making – the primordial statement. I exist, I was here, left in the fabric of matter, a vibration of consciousness and a frozen moment of revelation…communicating across time. The simple mark has much capacity to express feelings and ideas. These marks can be refined into patterns and transformed into words or images. Laced together these cluster of marks form stories and through these stories we define our place and the world.
The primary narrative of the works presented in this exhibition, continue my exploration of portraying the divinity within the Earth as the divine substance of Cintamani. The divine gemstone Cintamani is described by the Vaisnava Sages as a spiritually dynamic and fluid wish filling substance of infinite variation that responds to desire and conscious intent.
Cintamani is not a substance of this world that can be acquired by force but an ornament of consciousness that descends from a plane of reality described in the Vedas as the Paravyoma. A reality finer and more conscious than our very own self, whose contact creates intense feelings of humility and gratitude for this gift of life.
Currently, through the progress of technology we are moving to a physical replication of this type of relationship by creating a digitally integrated environment that responds to the desire and needs of the inhabitants as we seek to manifest the qualities of the inner world into a measured, timed and tactile experience. To make this reality the world is being mapped into a spatial index. With machines plotting reality into a grid where we will no longer interact with it directly with our senses but through this interface of a pixelated reality. The digital grid existing in the collective of the human minds.
It is my observation that the modern narratives used to describe the world around us; in their attempt to sideline religious control over the advancement of knowledge has diminished our relationship of honouring the sacred forces of life within and around us. These new narratives have allowed the rapid advancement of technology but the lack of education of the sacredness of life has led to repercussions we witness everyday with the unhealthy effect of the human transformation of the environment.
This act of relating to the sublime is an inherent quality of being human and drives us to make art and create objects of beauty. To ignore this is like a fish disbelieving in the existence of water because of its un-seeable quality. This body of work attempts to reconcile this process of gridification with the vision of the inviolable truth. In some works faceted conceptual narratives are housed in allegorical landscapes and other works I have tried to eliminate the pareidolic and metaphorical possibilities of the subject completely by using the texture of the Earth and a myriad of colours to show the divine qualities of the Earth herself. To present to the viewer in the most simplistic narrative,to just look at the Earth, see the beauty and acknowledge its sacredness without the visual interface of any cultural story. Earth and marks, left in adoration, in worship.’
Isha Black March 2016