Recently I have had the wonderful chance to refine, rethink and present another small arts project. This one is called ‘the hermit to the trinity’ and is the central themes taken from the original larger gallery hosted in the Verena Holmes Gallery at CCCU university over lockdown. This smaller refined and restructured arts installation is currently in the CCCU chapel and is part of a collection of art reflecting the emotions of the pandemic.
The challenge of art is exposure and perception. As the artist you may be convinced of its intent and values. It might be reflective of huge aspirational hopes for social change. But with many arts projects they are not seen. When this part of being a poet and artist bites I remember what a beautiful friend told me during a dark slump, she said ‘creativity is not for the masses, if it was it would not be truly raw and creative’.
Damasio and the self comes to mind. Dispelling false intuition is like when white light is a composite of the colours of the rainbow, although that is not and never will be apparent to the naked eye. If Damasio is to be believed and our understanding of consciousness is so limited, then we must first progress before thinking about deconstructing and rebuilding learning. The key is in the unlearning.
Within my poem the key, blended into the realities of what we presume to know is a lie. The issue with this lie is that it has been retold enough times for it to become a truth. Sadly, we don’t know and continue to build systems based on the fallacy of systems built on a system that oppresses. [ILLICH / FRIERE]
My most recent hearts project the ‘hermit to the Trinity’ tries to open a point of knowing that will allow for many broken to become more engaged with self-identity. This links to the work of Brunton and his theories around the death of self and ego. Martin Laird in his work into the silent land suggests that we must allow silence to permeate cultures of learning. Without this learning spaces will continue to be competing noise of ego, pain and misdirection.
Socrates referred to it as incoherent notions and Confucius stated that ‘if language is not truth then administration does not define the pursuit of meaning therefore does not rest with what Brunton calls academic purism’. The outcomes of intellect alone will only ever be a surface perception of what belongs to reality. This will never define reality itself much like the poem the rotten white root;
Born from a rotten white root.
So, what is this telling us about the attempts to define self, place and meaning. also, what link does this have to the current arts project which is essentially 3 themes trust, trauma and love embedded between two Christian icons the hermit and the Trinity. What do we know of penitents, what does society know about resting in silence in penitent prayer? We must begin to match the self, the observer and the seen (Brunton) We must learn to appreciate the self as witness or author (Damasio).
Within the wonderful work looking for Spinoza (Damasio) that is the reflection of insights that being that all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it (Einstein) Spinoza seemed to spurn money and positions of social hierarchy, his reasoning was that it was not required and what he had was enough. Meiser Eckhart takes a similar position but within a Christian monastic background within the book the man from whom God hid nothing it states, ‘he who loves only God finds real and equal comfort everywhere’.
Self-knowledge as Saint Augustine teaches us is that the interior mind which knows without image or likeness this knowledge is like unto us the angels. Within Albert Camus’ work ‘A Happy Death’ he suggests that we go through multiple deaths of self, a natural death and a conscious death. I would also suggest that at some point we must die to self or die to Society.
‘The hermit to the Trinity’ is my attempt as an artist and a poet to help offer a space that hopes and yearns for the growth needed. If you truly yearn for and live in order to die to self, then there is a hope.
My creative and challenging PhD continues to roll forwards and I am trying to ensure it doesn’t represent a Sisyphean conundrum that evokes fear, and then anger from those around me. Having to fight the imposter each day does make you at times tired and vulnerable. But yesterday was a perfect time spent around wonderful organic onion soup, homemade bread and love.
You spend many parts of your life hoping for connection. This is often a reflection of a shared value or interest. Sam Bailey a good friend of my PhD chair and deeply textured friend Jonathan Barnes, did just this. I spoke in my riddles and I spoke of the passion and the light, the voices and images trapped in my head. Sam spoke of his music and the spaces that were between the notes. Speaking of the truth of what the amateur means and the realities of raw love. We rested and then the most wonderful and defined reflection came, Sam described my mind… I sat there and felt like crying in a way that comes with being set free of an internal pain that often hides amongst the cells. Maybe a little in the heart, some hiding in the lungs amongst the alveoli, some hiding in the acetylcholine esterase of the mind.
In a current Netflix series Euphoria (2022), the pain of the addict is captured wonderfully it’s the desire for the two minutes between the reality and the fantasy world. The falling into the space of no pain, no self, that is what’s needed and leads the addict back to the scratch and the cycle of hopelessness. This synchronicity is what I now almost live to, it’s like a tribal drum calling and reassuring that you are amongst your people.
The exciting final project within my doctoral studies looks set and is now alive and free amongst the light and the trees, within the blossom and butterflies. As a creative you are tied to the one thing that you often drive hardest to escape. The realities of the true and false self.
So, if you have a moment and would like to have time with my friends and fragments of my heart then visit the chapel and be silent with the art.
FROM THE HERMIT TO THE TRINITY
Please take a moment and sit here
Rest and simply allow the mind and eye to pass amongst the art
The trauma is a truth and that is where the journey begins
Sit at this point of calm and talk with the hermit
He is rested and penitent, aware and calling
Imagine his call, his needs and then rest in that space
Now let you eye rest upon trust the gold marking the beauty of honesty
Follow the red thread, being mindful of the points it rests on gold
Pour the gold internal and breathe
Then we have trauma
This piece asks for you to move the eye along the red thread of creative consciousness
Looking for the fragments of gold and light amongst the dark
Pour the gold internal and breathe
We are all broken, and we walk with these scars as our true self realised
Our soul’s true eminence of beauty cast internal and radiating divinity
Rest now upon love
See the three points sealed with agape
The first is existence, come back to the existence granted as a blessing, breathe
Next is consciousness, formed through openness connection and company, talk
Then there is faith and bliss cast amongst the chaos, know
See the lines of intersection, where the consciousness overlays other points of becoming
In the centre is the ethereality of the unknowing
Take a moment and in silence rest in the Trinity (A Rublev XV Cent)
‘The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations but is now disclosed’ (col 1;26)
The salvation of humankind