IN ADVANCE OF MEANINGFUL MATERIALISM
Those who are most familiar with my work have told me that it has a "spiritual" quality. I don't disagree with this observation, and it pleases me, but what I work with and manipulate with my hands and eyes is real material -- physical and tangible shapes and colours and forms. And that is definitely what the viewer has to view. I wonder where we get this notion that the material and the spiritual are of two different realms? We tend to accept all activities and all understanding as fragmented. And each fragment seems unrelated to (and in conflict with) other fragments.
When we babble on about what we think is our society's lack of spirituality, we put spiritual concerns in opposition to material concerns. We must come to see that what we think and what we do are necessarily spiritual. We can't help ourselves. That's just the way it is. What we do is a direct manifestation of our spirituality. It doesn't require the clarity of our awareness. We simply cannot do otherwise.
The spiritual is just as obvious as the material because the outward appearance of both the spiritual and the material is exactly the same. They are one and the same. There is no lack of spirituality. There never has been.
An active hatred or an ignorant disregard for the materialistic aspects of life expresses a dark or cloudy spirituality. It manifests itself through, say, pollution, war, littering, the exploitation and abuse of fellow humans and other earthlings, the irreparable ruination of the primeval world, the feeling of the need to possess and acquire, a desire for an elevated position of dominance over others. These are simply expressions of violence and insensitivity. They are not expressions of "materialism". They are most certainly not a love of materialism -- which is a love of what is.
A tangible, touchable, tasteable, edible, audible, visible, breatheable, smellable, "sensible" materialism will encounter no conflict with what is commonly known as "spirituality". In spite of what we have been led to believe, it is spirituality.
at the HAMMER GALLERY
Nov 1 - Dec 14, 1994
MANDALA, acrylic on shaped canvas