my artist’s statement

Hello  dear reader;

My paintings and some drawings have been on display at The Weiss Gallery in Calgary for just over a week now. Many thanks to all of you who have been there to see them.

For this week I am publishing a recent statement I wrote to describe how I feel about my own art practice and what it is that I feel that I”m doing.  If you are interested to read I hope that it will enhance your experience of my work.

Meaning and purpose has come to my art practice through the pursuit of spiritual experience, truth and understanding. Study and understanding of prayer, meditation, Reiki, tarot, astrology and the teachings of masters have infused my creative imagination and world view with a richness and depth of images, a model for practice and process and a profound sense of purpose. At this moment in my development as an artist I can identify the wisdom these studies have begun to reveal and the potential they inspire in my work.

Meditation has shown me that at the center of the human being lies a ground of vast space and existence where we experience connection to the divine, our true selves and the true nature of reality. In cultivating the stillness of meditation one prepares for access to timeless existence and the wisdom there. The images and words emerging from the stillness express teachings and truths that provide an eternity of creative inspiration. Meditation has become an integral part of my creative process both at my easel and away from it.

Prayer has grounded within me evidence that the divine exists and this has deeply inspired my devotion to making art. I have learned that ultimately the human being is not a solitary entity. Our (human) true nature is eternally unified with a conscious transcendent source experienced in the center of our being. The creative urge emanating from this divine center carries meaning which matters greatly to the enlightenment of humanity. I feel that my authentic creativity is truly beyond my full comprehension and essentially depends on my faith and willingness to surrender my control to the divine flow felt within. In this way my studio work becomes a spiritual practice and the experience of painting- a potential mystical experience.

Reiki is one of many healing modalities that appear as the laying on of hands. The practice is to surrender the body and mind as a channel for a divine flow of energy. It passes through the practitioner into an intended location (a body, place or thing) where it has its affect. With Reiki I have experienced and understood the channelling and transference of source energy into matter and this has profoundly transformed my views on the potential of painting. I understand that artwork holds the energy of its creation in a very literal way and this has inspired a deep sense of reverence and responsibility in me. The artwork, as a crystal or gem used by healers, infused with energy eternally, has the capacity to affect the space around it including all viewers. I now understand that the affect of painting on the human is experiential in all ways-physically, emotionally, and intuitively and mentally- and has the actual capacity to heal.

The study of astrology and tarot has revealed to me that there are true and eternal symbolic language systems we are able learn and to communicate with the ultimate source of existence in profound clarity. Understanding this has transformed my understanding of imagery both in my imagination and in my artwork. Now I question my role as the originator of imagery and consider the possibility that I am recipient of imagery interpreting messages from a transcendent source. Either way to understand the eternal depth, richness and potential sacredness of visual language has been to realize the great potential of painting as a transcendent mode of communication.

The above realizations describe my current understanding of the potential of art and have saturated my practice with focus and meaning. I understand my responsibility as being ever mindful of the potential. My one desire is to consciously connect to the deepest most authentic and divine place within me, to align my creativity with that and to bring into physicality (paint) what comes from there.

Janine Hall
Fall 2008