A selection from Premdharma’s watercolours…
These paintings are visual keys that unfold mysteries. Using ritualistic processes that allow me to connect with my inner reality, I explore some of the paradoxical and magical aspects of life.
My studio has become a blending of a temple and a laboratory: a temple because it is a meditative space with a strong spiritual and devotional energy, and a laboratory because it is a place where I test out ideas and experiment with creating the images that you see here.
The creative act starts with an object, a thought, an image, an idea and as the work develops, new and vital aspects are revealed. The finished work is an expression of discovery and revelation that constantly surprises me.
I use objects that have personal meaning for me, such as stones collected from beaches around the world, dead leaves found while out walking, thorns from the Black Locust tree, and in the latest work, animal skulls, and a human skull, to create a composition that is potent and charged.
This process has become ritualistic for me, in that I imbue it with the power to delve into the unconscious. The key is that by honoring the intrinsic energy and symbolism in these objects, they work their own magic to create connections of mystery and insight. When this happens, when I get out of the way, then I enter a realm that displays and understands real beauty. This is why this series is called Rituals and Meditations.
I now see that real beauty is a striking and disturbing balance of opposites. It is disturbing because it destroys our attachment to surface values, and exposes the unsettling inner core of honesty that is the world. Beauty has to be both yin and yang, both light and dark, both life and death, both stability and motion, both emptiness and fullness, both black and white for there to be a real and honest expression of beauty. We react with fear to one side of the coin because it represents the unknown and often the unknowable, but life will always remain unbalanced unless we embrace these paradoxes and hold them close to our hearts.
These paintings are an effort to open myself to this vision of a universe both seen and unseen. Take time to look deep into these paintings you will discover your own keys, your own insights, your own magic.
Premdharma (Richard Bolingbroke) was born in Southsea, England and came to Pune in 1976. After the commune in Oregon he settled in California and since the mid 90′s he has worked as a full-time artist. He is married to his lover of 21 years and lives with him in San Francisco. Currently Premdharma works in watercolor, monotype and collage and more of his work can be viewed at www.rbolingbroke.com – firstname.lastname@example.org