Insights/Art/and Healing

Terrence Koh: These Decades that We Never Sleep

Terence_Koh_black_drums

(image: These Decades that We Never Sleep by Terrence Koh)

A lot of the artists that have been coming up lately in these Insight Readings seem to be doing something very specific with materials. Perhaps telling, as if at this moment it is essential to consider the materials from which we come in contact, reside, and from which we build our lives. Each of these artists use materials as associative, such as the way Janine Antoni works cowhide to demarcate the vacated spaces that her body inhabited. Terrence Koh similarly uses very unconventional materials, but also elements that evoke something genuinely specific like an incantation of other objects or thoughts. In the work These Decades that We Never Sleep (Black Drums), for example: a drum kit, vegetable matter, black wax, or “ropes from a ship found after midnight.” As if these materials might form a recipe of sorts when combined in the correct ratio to produce… something? And in this there is an element at risk, which in many ways is the point.

Terrence Koh suggests:

If I fail, I fail spectacularly in front of the whole art world. That in a way relieves the pressure, because either way, the splatter will be beautiful.

Often Koh’s works are formal in colour, but revelling in a punk sort of ethos where things come together spectacularly or waste away in a shambolic or mortal sprall.

Terrence Koh observes:

As a child, I really enjoyed going to Asian funerals… I loved that we all had to dress in black for fourteen days and then on the actual cremation day everybody was in white … Maybe that is what struck in me the monochromatic colors.

Perhaps, what is marked is the materiality and stuffs from which we construct as well as how it evokes or conjures something other. As if alongside the physical choices we express through the way we live, matters from which we hew this life, experience or remember, we also arouse a sense of where we will be and give it form.

This was part of an Insight Reading and go here to find out more. Also, please join for more info or notifications of upcoming projects and events.

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Uta Barth and seeing different

Uta Barth

(image: untitled by Uta Barth)

Sometimes we get stuck in our ideas of how something should look or be where our experiences disappear into preconceptions. It is easy to get caught in our own heads and become blinkered so we forget that what is actually going on right in front of us is something other than what we think. The artist Uta Barth makes photographs, mostly square, where everything is softened. Often they might have a certain quality of the world rendered in coloured charcoals or blotchy-inks with a warm oversaturation and a luminous smudgy-ness where things are revealed as hue and general shapes. In an untitled image, faded skin-tones and white morph onto drenched blues. Perhaps it is a gauzy portrait on a bench and off-centre or simply a trick of the light, balanced by two white circles more centrally positioned. In this it is about the experience of seeing, and perhaps in seeing things differently.

Uta Barth observes:

Narrative holds out for a certain inevitability, it places deep faith in cause and effect. Narrative is about reconstructing a chain of meaningful events based on a known outcome. I’m curious about visual art that’s about the visual. Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees is the title of Robert Irwin’s biography. Originally, it was a line in a Zen text. Narrative in art makes us think about all sorts of interesting things, but it derails the engagement with a visual experience.

So what does work like this give us permission to see in our life? Sometimes it is more necessary to understand what we are experiencing where our need to make logical sense derails what is right in front of us. It gives us permission to forget ourselves and what we think we know or experience in order to see both in a truer sense.

This was part of an Insight Reading and go here to find out more. Also, please join for more info or notifications of upcoming projects and events.

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Pool of Tears 2 (after Lewis Carroll)

Kiki Smith

(image: Pool of Tears 2 by Kiki Smith)

Kiki Smith’s work often explores our relationship to myth and nature. MoMA suggests,

In her recent work Smith has often turned to fairy tales in search of dramatic female personae and alter egos. The poignant vulnerability of childhood is an underlying theme in many of her images, like this one, based on Lewis Carroll’s manuscript drawings for Alice’s Adventures Under Ground (1886). The tension between young girls and animals pervades this scene as Alice struggles in a pool of her own tears with the duck, the dodo, and others.

Smith observes, “Making art is a lot about just seeing what happens if you put some energy into something.”

In Pool of Tears 2, a cluster of animals is grouped behind Alice with the horizon between foregrounded blue water and greyish sky that meet in the middle in an expanse of sea. The assortment of animals is cast in soft tones of browns, greens, a bit of pink, and golds. Depicted, an abundance of emotions have created a deluge from firm land with a menagerie of assorted birds and critters dropped into an ocean produced by her actions. Among the cast, a capybaras, which if the internet and memes are to be believed, are the animal that all other animals enjoy spending time with. Joined by an owl in three-quarters pose that looks like it has sat on something not altogether anticipated, a monkey-like creature grasping toward Alice and her hair, a few mallards, egrets.

In Lewis Carroll’s story, as Alice grew in size, she cried and the tears flooded them all out. It is a risk of proportions, as she grows in significance and stature, her actions produce consequences with larger impact and responsibility. However at the same time it is also a washing away of the previous scene and a transition into the next.  We find ourselves amid a strange menagerie of cohorts in moments like this, but it is likewise our work to swim towards the firmament in our location.

Lewis Carroll: “It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into it: there were a Duck and a Dodo, a Lory and an Eaglet, and several other curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore.”

This was part of an Insight Reading and go here to find out more. Also, please join for more info or notifications of upcoming projects and events.

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Insight Readings

Assume Vivid Astro Focus

(image by Assume Vivid Astro Focus)

Below is something I have been working on and if you would like more information or to be notified when it begins, drop me a note.

Insight Reading

Contemporary art has always informed my understanding of soul work and akashic reading. Specific images resonate with who we are and help us understand any primary life lessons we have chosen or with which we are currently engaging.

This reading is prepared specifically for you based on accessing your individual akashic record, and finding the work of a certain contemporary artist (like Louise Bourgeois,  James Turrell, or Nancy Spero) that operates as a sort of koan for contemplation and working with you to gain insight that resonates to your specific situation. These readings are not designed to tell you what to do (and may not even be your favourite artist), but give you insights on who you are at soul level and where you are so that you might step into your own authority.

What you receive:

  • A short insight text written and prepared specifically for you examining a work of an artist that resonates to your situation that operates as a sort of key from accessing your akashic records.
  • This might include a bit about any soul specialisations or life lessons you might currently be engaging with or general areas of focus.

To learn more about Insight Reading go here. Also, please join for more info or notifications of upcoming projects and events.

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Saddle

Antoni_1

(image: Saddle by Janine Antoni)

Janine Antoni is an artist whose work is tied to the senses and how we experience and engage with the world through the physical. Instead of focusing purely on how the art object looks, her approach is more likely to draw the viewer into an engagement through touch, smell, taste, or sound and into the process of how the work comes to be. This approach draws us into our perception of how we make choices, take actions and experience the world, whether she manipulates chocolate sculptures with her mouth or mops the gallery floor with her hair. Antoni observes,

Performance wasn’t something that I intended to do. I was doing work that was about process, about the meaning of the making, trying to have a love-hate relationship with the object. I always feel safer if I can bring the viewer back to the making of it. I try to do that in a lot of different ways, by residue, by touch, by these processes that are basic to all of our lives…

For Saddle, the artist made a cast of herself on all fours and then draped it with a soaked sheet of cowhide. After the skin hardened she removed the cast, so that the cowhide became a freestanding entity that delineated the outline where her body had vacated. Forming a sort of womb-like glove or membrane between where her own body met the borders of the exterior world without and the delineating line between the absent space her body occupied and the discreet world into which it inhabits. In a room it presents as something tactile, mortal skin, a sort of yellowish-brown and luminous rind, tracing the articulation between toes or hip, shoulders, but in other places more abstract, drapes that obscure the original lines, a general outline like the inhabitants of Pompeii—which comprise an entire life and sum, all the choices an individual may have made in an entire duration, but ultimately rendered as a human form only in the most general sense.

Every choice put into action makes something concrete, trace and congealed, giving it form and fitting as perfect glove between these intangible desires or considerations that are fleeting and the decisions we choose to make through physical choices. Giving decisive weight to these impulses, tendencies, and experiences; giving them form and a vantage for our experience. Taking an irresolute lack, giving form and stepping forward as the tangible that reveals.

This was part of an Insight Reading and go here to find out more. Also, please join for more info or notifications of upcoming projects and events.

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