Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I think there is a distinct possibility that an alternative Universe exists. Funny thing though...I think it exists right here and now on our wonderful planet. We've just got to harness it en mass. First we have to look and actually see....not just look.

I visited a truly amazing exhibition today created by Australian artist Katie Pye with other artists. The exhibition called Mantel of Beauty: Ceremony and the Divine was, "Inspired by the unifying nature of beauty, as it's expressed through religious ceremonies and traditions." The exhibition brings together Christian, Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist ceremony and tradition through, "'Light' being used as a metaphor for God/Divinity contained in all religions", and that , "all diversity comes out of the same source." When I was inside this exhibition I felt I was experiencing what I imagine an alternative Universe to be like. A place where similarities are applauded and differences acknowledged as being gifts rather than reasons for conflict. The room is a total environment of sights, sounds and texture. Light is reflected off shining surfaces, truly beautiful fabrics and intricately patterned objects. Smaller spaces of wonder/worship are created within the swirls of fabric and sound. This exhibition is a must see. Tony Gould Gallery, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Sth Brisbane until 27 January.

I was so pleased to see another artist thinking in a similar way to me. My paintings are about the abundant possibilities of sharing, of noticing that at a fundamentl level all people are the same. We share the basic signs of life ie: heart beat and breath. We share the need for identity. We all share this planet. Our religions share many of the same seeds.

I believe artists can actually 'protest' more by focusing on those wonderful things we all share. This is not a denial of atrocity and stupidity, but why give these things attention? Surely this only assists in perpetuating the voices of atrocity and stupidity? A balance is needed and I am beginning to think artists of all kinds have a role to play in reminding people about the beauty we lose if war, oppression, global warming and all the other dreadful blights on our planet continue.

My painting above is Alternative Universe Gouache on paper, 30 x 42 cm unframed.

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