I have been thinking a lot lately about art which seems to reflect and art which seems to perceive. Sometimes I feel empty when I look at some art. The colours may be great, the work competently produced and so on, but once I look away nothing is left for me to think about. In a way mimicing mass media [I know the academics would find this interesting]. Whereas other art can grip your heart and imagination taking you to places within yourself. I recently saw an exhibition by a Brisbane artist called Michael Eather. I thought the whole exhibition was really interesting, but there were two really fantastic paintings which whirled with colour and movement, but were quietened by a single beautiful stingray which seemed to glide across this vibrant sea. I still think about these two paintings weeks after seeing them. To me that is a sign of art which is not merely reflective but has some sort of power of perception which is a result of the artist drawing in, mulling around, thinking, loving, imagining and then creating. I believe artists who do this may not be conscious of the process, but some sort of faith shows through.
I'm not sure that art which mimics mass media or tries to outdo photography can survive without art which perceives. There needs to be a balance. I believe the latter creates/invents new symbols which like all symbols mean more than words can say. Relective art is a reminder whereas perceptive art is a remembering of humanity which resonates at a level which some would say is spiritual, others may call it cellular memory. Whatever it is, the vibrations caused by perception awaken rather than remind.
I like to think my own art has this quality of perception and given the type of comments my work receives I believe this to be so. I have recently had some amazing reactions to my work from someone 'getting' the potential for Peace through art, someone feeling vibrations which I sensed disturbed them because he felt they were coming from somewhere else and someone who hugged me.
The painting above 'Heaven and Earth' will be in my next solo exhibition at Doggett Street Gallery, Newstead, Brisbane opening 12 th October.