Tag Archives: mandala

A Best Of My Own Art Work 2017 – Part 1 – Mandalas and Circular Pieces

Navigators Travel In Circles of Time

On my artist’s web site I maintain an index of posted art works. This page lines up most of my art work in reverse chronological order. The provides an excellent way to review my creative journey over the past years. Last year I produced better work than the year before, and, overall, much better work than was featured in the one person show of 2013-2015 art work that was exhibited throughout 2016 at The Gallery At Grays.

From my perspective, the best work is elevated out of any year, and the shortest narrative of my escapades simply involves highlighting those ne plus ultra successes from each year. My progress over the last year is based in learning from my practice, intuiting fresh approaches, and, subtle recombinations and reconfigurations of previously proven or previously attempted approaches.

None of those background factors figure into the simple qualification I could make about the art works I feel best represent what I am after. After all, what I am after is the viewer’s dedicated engagement with visual seeking amidst the field and its dense resolution of patterns. But, caveat with the work over the last two years regards most of the pieces never having been exhibited. I have some idea of what art works might prove to be the most sensational, but my own estimations are based entirely on my grading how successful the experiment under consideration seems to me to be.

I do not have any issue with grading my own work differentially.  The lesser pieces may well strike others as being the superior piece. I am not subjectng anything to formal considerations. I do not post art works from failed experiments.

Mandalas – of the several hundred produced, the following five are tops, and include the art work above. Also of note are the two series, The Steadfastness of Kabir, and, The Four Noble Truths In a Nutshell.

River Dharma

River Dharma 46×46 aluminum

Wired Mandala 34x24 aluminum

Wired Mandala 34×24 aluminum

Qawwali #2 40x40" aluminum

Qawwali #2 40×40″ aluminum

Red Mandala #2

Red Mandala #2 30×30 aluminum

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, visual experiments, my art | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Working Away From the Center


Family Synergy Mandala(Stephen Calhoun)

Virgins with T-squares
and compasses, guarding
the heavenly blackboards.

And the angel of numbers
reflective, flying
from the 1 to the 2, from the 2
to the 3, from 3 to the 4.

Dead chalk and sponges
rule and erase
the light of the heavens.

Not the sun, moon or stars,
not the sudden green flash
of the lines and the lightning,
nor the air. Only haze.

Virgins without T-squares,
without compasses, weeping.

And on the dead blackboards,
the angel of numbers,
lifeless, laid out
on the 1 and the 2
on the 3, and the 4…

(The Angel of Numbers, Rafael Alberti, translated by Jerome Rothenberg)

The First Snow, Ever(Stephen Calhoun)

Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation. And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions. (Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections)

FB-Quiet-Window-Mandala-Film

So you see, in a moment during a patient’s treatment when there is a great disorder and chaos in a man’s mind, the symbol can appear, as in the form of a mandala in a dream, or when he makes imaginary and fantastical drawings, or something of the sort. (Carl Jung)

TW-Loosening-Mandla-I-Stephen-Calhoun

A mandala spontaneously appears as a compensatory archetype during times of disorder. (Carl Jung) [h/t carljungdepthpsychology.wordpress.com]

There are four notes, (suppose these to be notes-to-self,) that come all the way up and to the center when I reflect on why it is that the mandala has taken over my creative practice.

These are simple notes too, and these represent the starkest capture.

(1) Depressed at the rise of Trump and nihilist Trumpism.

(2) Demoralized at the failure to satisfactorily meet my worldly obligations.

(3) Understand the inner order reflected in the enthusiasm for manifesting mandalas is only a potential reordering, and the proof of this is in the outer disorder.

(4) Unhappy and tired in the wake of the sharp arrivals due to the constant processes of death and loss that have struck over the past years.

I wear my depression very lightly. Optimistic. Youthful outlook.

My contemplative practice is the first balancing act. I note my creative agency is powerful too, yet, I haven’t a clue as to what is going on, except to distrust to a niggling degree that I am on the right track. I have to suppose this distrust of my own creativity is something to work through at this rather early yet auspicious juncture. This has nothing to do with my personal qualification of my creative product, it has to do with what this feels like in the context of outer disorder. It comes as no surprise that powerful inner motives are working me over a bit at the expense of outer order.

There is in this a fraught paradox: betwixt the rush and rushing forward of inspiration and ideas, and, the yet to be shaped command to, in actuality, set this aside for the purpose of getting the house in order.

FB-Mandala-Five-One-Fifty---ExLg-Urban-install-(Stephen-Calhoun)

The energetic aspect is clear enough to me. After all, I am not painting mandalas or setting fine grains of sand to a blueprint. Once the mathematics clicked for me, the opportunity presented itself fully: there are all sorts of archival photographs which may lend themselves to manipulation. These photos now come up again to be resuscitated.

(One image in this post presents how this is done.)

Still, am I creating mandalas? What is coming up and out seem to me reductions too, and also pieces symbolize eyes and sphincters. The images that consist of patterns of concentric circles nevertheless are unitary objects. Also, the direction of experimentation already is disrupting the simple concentricity.

Severity Mandala

Yes, creating mandalas is soothing. It occurs to me also that this is of a piece with my artistic mission, and, this also puts in 2nd order cybernetic relations a deeper aspect of the kitschy facile gimmicks I am employing as propositions in various visual experiments. Those relations are about learning.

As for my own psyche, I’m waiting for the dream. The only dream that recently arrived was optimistic, and this seemed to me its fault.

A magical, sacred, and perfected environment of the Buddha, which
denotes the order and harmony of an enlightened mind, and built on their
perfect wisdom. The purified circle of an enlightened being, an environment
wherein the endless compassion of the enlightened one is expressed.”
(C.G. Jung: ‘Mandala Symbolism’)

Oh, there’s this–see its opening and conclusion:

Theoretical Foundation for Jung’s “Mandala Symbolism”
Based on Discrete Chaotic Dynamics of Interacting Neurons
Vladimir Gontar (International Group for Chaos Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel)

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in analytic(al) psychology, art, artists, experiential learning, personal, psychology, self-knowledge, visual experiments, my art | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Unities

Mind-Reading Cartoon

One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one

No is the saddest experience you’ll ever know
Yes, it’s the saddest experience you’ll ever know

‘Cause one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
One is the loneliest number, whoa-oh, worse than two

It’s just no good anymore since you went away
Now I spend my time just making rhymes of yesterday

One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do

One is the loneliest
One is the loneliest
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do

It’s just no good anymore since you went away

(Number)
One is the loneliest (number)
One is the loneliest (number)
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do

Nillson/Edwards

Stephen Calhoun artist

I’ve been making mandalas. This represents a regression in both the terms of psyche, and, my own growing artistry. This is a local reconfiguration for the sake of doing different experiments concerned with the singularity given by the whole “O,” the eye, the core, the centrifugal oneness. Empirically, mandalas don’t grip the viewer for the same reasons a complex work chock full of partially hidden patterns and relations grip someone. Yet, as the dictionary tells us, mandala means magical circle.

http://artiststephencalhoun.com/image-sets-and-series/mandalas/

Yet, everybody at times enjoys partaking of some regression! Going backward sometimes means moving back in time toward innocence, or moving to a previous point at which point the bad mojo had not arrived, or been elected.

Mandalas are the warm blanket of the world of created manmade forms.
My mandalas…

Read more: Three Dog Night – One (is The Loneliest Number) Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, analytic(al) psychology, art, artists, experiential learning, personal, philosophy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reality Has a Grander Magic of its Own

Buddhist Mandala

Attention - In Process

Interview with Scientist Richard Dawkins
‘Religion? Reality Has a Grander Magic of its Own’

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The American geneticist Dean Hamer postulated the God Gene hypothesis, proposing that humans are genetically hardwired for religious faith.

Dawkins: I’d prefer to say that we have a lot of genetic predispositions for a lot of psychological attributes, which can under the right circumstances add up to religion. But I’m also thinking of things like a predisposition to be obedient towards authority, which might even be useful under certain circumstances. Or a predisposition to be afraid of death or, when frightened, to run to a parental figure. These are all separate psychological predispositions which under the right cultural circumstances end up pushing one into a religion, whichever the religion of one’s cultural upbringing. I wouldn’t call it a God Gene.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Has religion not been very successful in an evolutionary sense?

Dawkins: The thought that human societies gained strength from religious memes in their competition with others is true to a certain extent. But it is more like an ecological struggle: It reminds me of the replacement of the red by the gray squirrel in Britain. That is not a natural selection process at all, it is an ecological succession. So when a tribe has a war-like god, when the young men are brought up with the thought that their destiny is to go out and fight as warriors and that a martyr’s death brings you straight to heaven, you see a set of powerful, mutually reinforcing memes at work. If the rival tribe has a peaceful god who believes in turning the other cheek, that might not prevail.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But following a religion that does not promote the chances for survival seems to contradict evolutionary logic…

Dawkins: Oh yes, clearly there is a conflict between meme and gene survival. We are familiar with such conflicts. They sometimes work out one way, sometimes the other.


The other day it occurred to me–while I was sticking wet laundry in the dryer–that the religious impulse, viewed as artifactual event and acquisition, could have done duty as a buffer against the fragile web of contingency human life is entangled within. But, then I recognized by confirmation bias at work, because the human awareness of contingency, chanciness, and interdependency is itself acquired.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in cultural contradictions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment