I practice Kundalini meditation, a traditional Indian form based on rhythmic, cyclical breathing. During meditation, practitioners often enter an altered perceptual state that has specific physical and visual qualities. The sensations in Kundalini are ones of opening or expanding—as if the boundaries between oneself and the external world were dissolving into an interconnected, energetic field. For many artists, studio practice produces that same sense of total identification with the materials, the moment and the process.
In these bodies of work I’ve translated those perceptual states into formal visual language, using the physical qualities of paint to express sensory phenomena (blurring, vibration, spatial depth, dissolving and radiance) that occur in meditation. I improvise the layout of the Lattices over a period of days, painting them freehand, adding and subtracting lines to reach the final composition. They are active metaphors for staying present in the unfolding moment.The Lattice structures also correspond to the idea of a de-centered, interconnected state, in which each part of the whole holds equal value, and movement is equally distributed throughout the visual space. The compositions describe a state of flux, or shifting focal points, produced by variations in color, and by the weight and gesture of the layered lines.
The multi-lobed floral shapes and grid forms in the Tantra paintings are related to traditional Tantric images of chakras; the blurred, vibratory contours of the chakras suggest form rising out of and dissolving into an energetic field.
In making the Veil paintings I rely heavily on the material phenomena that occur with wet-into-wet paint application, and with additive and subtractive processes. I work with a mix of oil paint, alkyd medium and refined beeswax on polyester canvas stretched over panel, building up thin layers of transparent and opaque colors on underpainted grounds, to suggest an infinite field extending beyond the picture plane. The paintings' surfaces sometimes suggest corresponding forms in the physical world of elements and substances, but any imagery they imply arises completely out of process and manipulation. They are literal records of staying present and working collaboratively with materials in a situation that may not be entirely delimited. In that sense, each painting is the record of improvising in a learning situation.
In emphasizing the correlation between observation, consciousness and formal visual language, these bodies of work conjoin my studio practice with my meditation practice.