“For the reality to which the artist is exposed…is of their innermost truth brought to consciousness…. The fact that the nature of the artist (as a microcosm) and the nature of the universe (as the macrocosm) are two aspects of the same reality (respectively, as a minute part of the whole, experienced from within, and as the whole, viewed from without)…accounts sufficiently for that creative interplay of discovery and recognition which alerts the artist to the possibility of a revelatory composition in which outer and inner realities are recognized as the same.” (Joseph Campbell, The Inner Reaches of Outer Space (California: New World Library, 1986), 93-94.)
There are two main concepts I focus on within my body of work. The first concept is the notion that everything is connected and the second is that the search for the self is the path to spiritual enlightenment. These concepts are drawn from Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. Helping give form to these ideas are the books I have read by the late comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. Through the confluence of Campbell’s influence and these two personal beliefs, other ideas begin to surface: there is always an underlying structure, life is circular, when one door closes another door opens, and what is around us is also within us.
Because the human field of vision is limited, much of what is around us in the world is beyond our sight. In addition, much of what we can see has been passed over and taken as being already understood. Richard Tarnas, in his book Cosmos and Psyche, discusses how there is a great schism with the Western world today. This separation is between humankind and the world it inhabits. Unlike the primordial world, which saw itself as part of nature, not separate from it, modern society sees no connection. It is an “us” and “them” relationship.
However, when a person ignores this indoctrinated notion and opens herself up to the world around her, a multitude of relationships are exposed between her internal world, the natural world, and the cosmos. As Tarnas explains it, “In this relatively undifferentiated state of consciousness, human beings perceive themselves as directly – emotionally, mystically, consequentially – participating in and communicating with the interior life of the natural world and cosmos.”(Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations on a New World View (New York: Penguin Books, Ltd., 2006), 17.)
It is this invisible and yet tangible relationship I am meditating on and utilizing to communicate my ideas.
Utilizing this unseen world, I have found an outlet to express and explore my concepts and beliefs. The abstract language I use, which is representative of this world, can be seen as unknown, not rooted in everyday realities. This symbolic abstraction allows me to bring out the world within me as opposed to just replicating the world around me. However, the world within me is also the world around me. There is no difference when everything is connected.