Conceptual Influences

My work has always aspired to express both the intensity of material existence (the complexity and beauty of the visual world), the power of the sensual experience of being human (and male, and thus the attraction to and exploration of the feminine), and the almost mystical attraction to the concepts of transcendence and transformation. I know this is a vast landscape of ideas and I am merely naming these influences not attempting to discuss or explain them here.

However, two philosophies or groupings of ideas are at the centre of my personal artistic pilgrimage. The first is the ancient heremetic notion of inter-relatedness and the idea that reality is comprised of hologens. Hologens are wholes who are simultaneously unique and individual yet inseparable from greater units of ascending complexity and autonomy. As above as below.
Thus the seemingly paradoxical spheres of mind and matter, emotion and object, psyche and body and all the inner and the outer worlds reflect various levels of truth back to each other. Using these concepts, existence and the cosmos can be likened to an infinite number of Russian dolls or onion rings, each nestled within another in ever increasing levels of complexity and consciousness. This interconnectedness, from the probability field of the subatomic particle, defined by intention, as wave or the photon, continues to the particle, the atom and so on through our description of matter, to the cell, the organism, the individual, the family, the society, the culture, the race, the species, the planet, the Gaia, the solar system, the universe, the cosmos, the Kosmos- an infinite progression whose unifying principles are twofold.

Firstly every hologen is an interdependent equally important whole, and secondly, every whole seems innately driven by some evolutionary process to seek to transcend the sum of its’ components.
Making art is the means by which I search for meaning, heighten my awareness and, as a human being, connect and honor every other form of life thus allowing my consciousness to transcend the sum of my material parts. I consciously seek this evolutionary birthright, and artistic awareness is one of the human instincts I utilize to polish the lens of perception and thereby open up to the process of transformation.

The second bundle of intellectual notions I have found useful are those Taoist descriptions of the universe that perceive it not as a static collection of immutable physical laws, but rather as a ever shifting assembly of opposites, always in tension, always seeking to express the universal principles of growth, change, and balance through the infinitely varying symphony of existence.

Jungian psychological descriptions such as shadow and archetype add yet another level to this understanding as does the mapping of cultural and intellectual evolutionary patterns by the contemporary philosopher Ken Wilber.

(Thanks Bill Zytnik for introducing me to the work of Wilber, and everyone else who has enriched my life.)

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