These are questions I asked myself after an encounter in Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum many years ago, after “suspending time” before a massive painting of Mark Rothko. Before that experience, only the creation of my own work and sitting in meditation, had the power to stop my perception of the passage of time and bring me back to “hyper-open” awareness : An awareness in which my experience of Life is alive (a non-solid of constantly shifting energy).
So what happened in front of the Rothko and what occurs when I enter painting as an experience, in the “making” and as a continuum of unfolding, years after the surface is “finished” and I’m standing before my experience as an “imbibed object” ?
There is a luminous quality to profound “vibrance imprints” where we recognise sublimity and transfer it across the fields of density. By actively engaging a state of “magnificence” the energetic and unmanifest world becoming, is sensed as an effervescent interior aliveness. It breaks apart habituated mental rigidity, signalling something very particular happening throughout the accepted rubric of “who and what we are”.
Humans don’t need words either to experience ourselves. Our ability to communicate with the totality of experience is hampered by this idea. Yes, words have a utility, but life is a multiplex of resonances.
The transmission of the Existential, by the use of words, means most of the message is lost. How can even a simple interactive multi-dimensional earthly experience, eating ice-cream for example, or realising you are awake and directing a dream, be shared as a total realisation across the medium of words ? Try describing a rainbow without sounding like you’ve broken the experience of it…
Sometimes that makes people silently cry in recognition. Sometimes they simply say, “Wow”. It’s the relief of finding, in their manifest world, something finally speaking to their supra-conscious awareness. The part of our awareness we seem so…threatened?..over-awed?…overwhelmed?.. by.
The capacity we have as humans, to be enraptured and liberated into the energetic light-play within and throughout material reality, is natural!
It’s what captures your mind as a child and what we throttle out of ourselves by systematised thought. The whittled down version of the multiplex of Greater Reality, is maintained in its tin-pot expression, as “all there is”, with the use of words to convey It (small is, small it, blocks of reality cut from a living flow).
We don’t start as beings of words, we start as beings of experience. Our apeture to that flow of experience is a shifting parameter. Words are the saws that cut the boughs off our natural interactive forest of experience, (so that we can have the fire-wood we have been shown is necessary). Strange but true paradoxes of “modern” adaptation to manifest life. Trees and forest systems don’t need firewood as an everyday medium of exchange or self recognition, indeed, it is anathema to the fullness of their potential!
Having said that, when looking up the Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum this morning, to find the correct title of the place, I read that Mark Rothko also had people crying in front of his paintings. That’s a really jolting response in the viewer, but when it happens, we know as artists, that the painting is silently and energetically being what it is. A multi-dimensional vehicle. One that made us, the “scribes”, pay attention to it’s existential reality and then draw it forth, from the unmanifest, as a painting.
That world, the one before forms, is abstract and experiential! It is also repleat with vibrance, magificence, energetic forces beyond these little black lines, curves, dots and shared meanings we are calling “communication”. Be yourself in that existential pre-holographic state and now we are glittering one within the eye of the other. A union of limitless vastness. Ahhh. Ommm. Silence.
“Intuitively” (read wordlessly and wholistically), the artist knows, Awareness is being “charged” in the instants where “Abstract” (read pre-form resonance) is being brought through as an energetically imprinted “visual”. As you probably sense, the unmanifest field isn’t made of forms or words. These conveniences of bound convention have, through formatting and habitual use, by adulthood, almost outlawed our experience and reception of pre-holographic Awareness.
When adults see the unbound world transcribed as a manifest painting, holding the energetic charge of their almost denied interior truth, they brighten in the act of recognition. Like hearing a favourite song, or bumping into a long lost friend, the liberation of the nebulous innate nature of their own Greater Reality floods over the dam. I love that moment.
Experiencing a painting charged with the interior vibrance of the Greater Abstract is liberating. Just like any battery holds a charge of the force it represents, even a small jolt reminds us of the power of lightning.
I often invite those who ask about the origins of my work to close their eyes and really look into the nebulous light play behind their eyelids. To sit amidst this swirling pointalistic flow, as it is, without mental images being consciously or unconsciously imposed or commentary narrating ad infinitum, is a vast “place” to Be.
As a constantly “alive moment” , Abstract Existentialism, holds the charge of the essential non-manifest stages that brought it to awareness. Like any enriched imprint of a pivotal and massive moment, the charge is preserved in the painting because the bridge across the densities has been connected in an uninterrupted way, until the point of delivery, the mindscape of the receiver. You.
The nourishing quality of the abstract, pre-form, energetic field is recognised. No matter how rusty and reliant on thought-form habits our minds have become, we still know ourselves as an alive interactive. Sometimes waking up to that realisation, as a energised aspect of the multiplex, feels as if you’ve found your best friend, pure awareness, in the crowd of your mental habits.
Cue the manifestation of a reminder! So how did the Rothko in Tokyo draw me back from the rust of the evident moment into the boundless flow of the supra-soup? “Lightning and magnets”, and I know you know what I mean, even if the words can’t paint the picture.