In celebration of the creativity of humanity here is a gallery of our PROLIFIC uses for the circle and sphere. From the invention of the wheel and construction of simple round buildings, using minimal materials and gaining maximum space, our uses for this most basic geometric construct are extensive. Simple and stunning, the sphere is the vessel of all geometric forms.
Archetypal symbolism using a variety of geometric shapes is ancient, stretching back to the dawn of man's earliest artworks as seen in petroglyphs around the world. Our ancestors’ simple drawings on rocks and artefacts gave tangible form to the harmonious patterns of life and the intangible order uniting the Universe. They give 'form to the formless' and are abstract expressions of the science manifesting reality.
Ueshiba Morihei (founder of aikido):
Down the generations all cultures have used simple shapes such as these and they, like Zen artists, had the same profound understanding that the simple patterns shaping the Universe were themselves sacred and empowered. Other examples, used extensively in my books, are yantras and mandalas. Tantra Yoga is the path of union with the Absolute through geometric visualization in Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Central to Tantrism are elaborate and precise geometric patterns, known as mandalas or yantras, some of which are thousands of years old. In this tradition the triangle, circle and square were significant Vedic forms which symbolised spirituality, evolution and the Earth respectively. Additionally in both Indian and Japanese esoteric teachings, such as Mikkyo, these shapes represent earth (square), water (circle) and fire (triangle).
Simple shapes embodying intricate complexity, the circle, square and triangle structure and bind the 3 profound concepts of time (evolution: Mind, serenity and perfection:water), space (Earth:Body:earth) and being (spirituality:solidity and applied control:fire). The empty circle, the vessel for all geometry shapes, when totally empty is the essence of enlightenment.
Here is my version of these timeless concepts:
Every image I create is imbued with symbolism - sacred geometry of shapes and patterns, light and colours, flowers, animals, Gods & Goddesses… All are visual expressions of the science manifesting reality. Images for connecting into with your Mind to enhance your experience of reality. To see more in my abstract and conceptual art look beyond the surface images and think of them as a 'thought forms' to blend into and work with.
I often post one of my pieces with a short interpretation and insight for that day. As examples here are a couple that I posted on my facebook page in December 2016. Enjoy!
Infinity and Emotions
Emotions colour our lives. Every time you are triggered by events in your life to feel blue (sadness), see red (anger, hate), feel green (with envy).... they happen to reflect back and show you the inner work you need to do along the Spiral path towards the inner, central Self where unconditional Joy is experienced.
Look at the subtle images within the paintings, which were not created intentionally. For example I see a swan at the centre. Swans symbolise grace, the awakening power of the inner Self, balance, inner beauty and the 'rising glory' of a new day.
As 2017 approaches here is a thought for the new year. Allow your potential to unfurl to reveal you in all your splendour. Awaken your senses, exeperience the colours of life and learn from them.
INDONESIA - Solo River banks in Java
Excavated in the 1890s, the site in Java revealed bones of what appeared to be an ancient human, surrounded by animal remains and shells dated between 1m - 700,000 years old. Similar fossils have since been found in Africa and elsewhere in Asia. Palm-sized shells found alongside the body's are very interesting as they are decorated with abstract geometric patterns. These are the earliest evidence of abstract art.
AFRICA - Blombos caves ochre
The Java art is very similar to the 70,000 year old ochre etchings found in the Blombos cave Africa. This astonishing cave is home to a veritable stash of art materials. Read more here.
These first examples of abstract art are similar to the triangular Grid of Life, and basis of what it is 'to be', a design that is found in the symbolic systems of every culture and also in nature. 3 creation, 6 fertility and 9 maturation - this is the trinity of numbers linked to the Grid of Life.
In Dec 2016 it will have been 5 years since I went on a truly incredible trip to Egypt. I am posting this now as the organiser, Barbara Meicklejohn-Free, is doing another trip in February 2017.
12/12/12 - at dawn we find transport (thankful I had a horse as the camels misbehaved), 12 of us headed into the desert to view the pyramids. A once in a lifetime experience!
Never boring! Typical sites in Egypt: camel trains, fishermen, wildlife, pet crocodiles in a Nubian's front living room and camels in a truck. There is always plenty to buy - trinkets, jewellery, rugs, high quality oils, spices, cotton products......or just relaxing on deck watching the banks of the Nile drift past.
Exploring the temples and sacred sites of Egypt requires long hours in transportation, walking and lots of climbing! Not for the faint of heart, we even crawled along narrow tunnels of lesser known pyramids (there are over 100 in Egypt alone), usually home to several bats. Frequently we were at temples as dawn broke, which generated some lovely photographs and meant it was quiet. Saw and photographed the infamous 'flower of life' drawing. Sadly it is very faint and in an inaccessible spot - in an archway over water - so it is a long distance shot.
Diamond Grid - wonderful picture of rainbow diamonds in light pouring from behind the Sphinx, mirroring the pyramid behind.
For fun I am sharing a small selection of photographs taken on a fantastic trip to India Nov 2013, organised by Jazaro-Nur. In every image there is an example of sacred geometry, which is a vital feature of the Indian culture and everyday life that goes back many centuries.
GUSTAVE KLIMT was a pioneering symbolist artist of art nouveau whose style was controversial due to its erotic elements. Symbolism, including that of geometric shapes, was used extensively and overtly in his art. Never subtle, he used symbolism imaginatively in a way that generated criticism since he was so far ahead of the time period. Klimt is best known for the style of his later works, which includes the use of gold paint/leaf, abstract space in the art and exotic symbolism of the female figure.
The Tree of Life (above), symbolic of the union of Heaven and Earth, is a well known Klimt masterpiece. This stunning painting is full of geometry in the patterning and in its underlying structure. The figure for 'Anticipation' (left hand side) has triangles directing you to look at her face, which itself is looking at a desired future of 'Fulfilment'. Symbolically triangles are associated with eyes and directed intent. The embracing figures of 'Fulfilment' (right hand side) are united in an oval. Note the yin/yang male/female faces and within the robes. There are interesting geometric patterns within the males robe, such as the square grid. Dynamic spirals of the 'Tree of Life's' branches unwinding enfold the two sides and also, like a labyrinth, tell the story of life as it progresses.
Click here for a more analysis of the painting by Samui Art Gallery.
Golden Adele Bloch Bauer is the most famous portrait by Klimt. You will note how the head, with eyes, is at the top of an underlying implied triangle in the structure. Eyes within vesica piscae, themselves within triangles, are in a pillar and the triangles point towards the top, head. An Eye in a triangle symbolises our mind frozen in a physical body; the eye of the expansive Mind looks out of the triangular window into a reality perceived by the 3-Eyes (two physical ones and the third inner eye). Spirals of manifestation surround her head, much like those of Buddha. In the background squares of the physical realm provide strength and stability.
The jewelled mandalas of Suzan Drummen
The gorgeous mandalas of artist Suzan Drummen are large installations that 'grow' across the floor, walls and over obstacles. Their 3-dimensional surfaces are like the tempting delights of a patisserie or jewellers! Mesmerising on the screen they must be wonderful to behold in reality. Like the works of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian they are made out of pieces of mirrors and glass, but also crystals, chromed metal, precious stones and optical glass.
"A sensory experience, and visually stimulating, the glittering installations play with the architecture of the space — climbing up walls and sweeping across the surfaces — examining the idea of illusion and optical effects. When viewed from a distance or from above, the work looks organized and neat, but with close contact, visitors enjoy seeing the many intricate details resulting from the skilled craftsmanship that goes into each art piece. in much of her work, drummen places each glossy element loosely on the floor, making the artwork vulnerable and ephemeral." Design Boon
Having had the pleasure of having a stand next to Stephen Meakin and after seeing his work at other events I really wanted to share his talent with you. Stephen's mandalas are stunning! Vibrant colours, intricate detail and powerful symbolism. I highly recommend a visit to his website www.themandalacompany.com to see more of his work and how he creates his large masterpieces.