Material: oil paint and sand from the bank of the Ganges on primed linen canvas
THE DEEPER I | CONCEPTSomewhere in the North of India, on the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a city... Read More
THE DEEPER I | CONCEPT
Somewhere in the North of India, on the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a city that is like no other in the world. Its infinite riches are spiritual and for thousands of years it celebrates Self-Realization. Home to the great Indian mystics and its foundation date is so ancient that it blends with legends.
Every day at dusk the Sacred Ceremony is held there to worship the Divine River Ganga. It is called “Ganga Aarti” and hundreds of people gather every evening to partake in the the event.
One of the meanings of Aarti is “remover of pain.” There is nothing inherent in the name of the ceremony that says which form or name of God it should be performed to. It should be performed to the Divine Remover of Pain in our life.
The presence of water is essential in these ceremonies as they are always held at the special areas called “ghats”, the closest eouropean equivalent being “embankment”, and in practice it means that the participant is right next to the river, at its level. One hears the flow of water blending with prayers, music and chants, sees the reflections of last rays of the red-orange Indian sunset on the waters and is carried away from the stresses of everyday life and is taken to a space of joy, reverence and peace.
During these ceremonies I would lose the sense of regular time and get lost in an infinite moment of vibrant joy. Nothing that I have ever felt before could be even remotely compared to this.
In fact, this ceremony is a way of accessing different type of time. The Sacred Time takes one beyond the temporal condition and personal “historical situation” and enables the participant to approach a Reality that is inaccessible at a level of normal individual existence.
I wanted to experience, to explore this strange elevated state of being, for I believe it to be the clue to healing, happiness and connection to everyone and everything in the whole world.
My way of worshiping the river is painting it and in the piece called “The Deeper I” I painted the Ganga inspired by her unbelievable shades of turquoise and emerald green.
Not only is this painting a portrait of the Ganga and my way of worshiping the river, but also it is a metaphor of going deep within and being reestablished in one’s essence and experiencing this deep connection to the river, to other participants of the ceremony ant to oneslef, in the mystical realms beyond the illusion of time which is ultimetely, our home.
The Deeper I is the final artwork of the “Sacred Summer Series” created in the lockdown in India in 2020. I consider the works prior to The Deeper I as research points and steps towards it. I mean it conceptually as well as in terms of painting technique. All these experiments helped me arrive at the “liquid oils” technique that was perfect for expressing what I had felt during these sacred ceremonies. It took almost 20 artworks, as 20 steps to discover this.
I it is significant that this idea and this artwork came into being in 2020 when the whole world was shattered by physical disease and the worldwide breakdown in mental welbeing.
As an artist I feel called to play my part in restoring the spiritual connection and peace: through exploring the ancient myths of cultures that I live among on my travels. Through water and its mystical qualities to connect, to carry information and to heal.