Satyam shows his reliefs in our virtual Art Gallery.
As I spend a great part of my working day with people at our meditation centre, there are moments when I crave to be alone, moments during which I want to be creative.
Creativity for me doesn’t start, as most people would presume, before an empty space to be filled with shapes and colours. For me, it begins when I’m walking about and either a pebble, a leaf, a piece of wood or just any old thing in a skip or trash bin calls out to me, begging to be acknowledged and brought back to life.
Once I am in my studio my creativity becomes like a dance; surrounded by these discarded objects I cast cement into wooden boxes, sink the chosen objects half-way into the mix leaving only the top part to show. No time to think; I must act swiftly as the cement sets fast. Once the arrangement is set it can no longer be changed.
Indeed, no space for the mind to come into the picture. It’s my favourite meditation – when no one’s around, neither inside nor outside. Time and space take on a different meaning, or, no meaning at all. A profound silence befalls my heart and then flows into my work. The boxes becomes ‘drop boxes’.
Now, a round hollowed-out stone can host a piece of driftwood that’s been moulded and polished by the strength of the sea and becomes the hub for a bouquet of dancing dry leaves: a kind of autumn symphony. Or, a weathered glass bottle seems to split itself in two: a photograph of a bottle seen through a smaller, real bottle; a playful game where so-called reality and imaginary depiction are hard to distinguish.
A battered Italian coffee percolator coated in gold foil (in a golden dress) pours fake plastic coffee into a golden bowl. Or a wooden sphere and cone, along with a rusty old sickle against an azure background become a fairytale scenario. Other times I pile on layers upon layers of materials until the result satisfies my vision.
As in the past, when the canvas was too limiting a space, now even the boxes become sometimes too narrow and the objects spill over the edges: branches, roots, bits and bobs pop up and out, trying to reach for life, for the sky, ultimately for the one who is looking at them.
There has been a period when I was attracted by black – evoking silence, space, depth – and gold – an invitation to melt and merge with ‘the other’. Then I fell in love with off-white and, despite appearances, it fascinated me with its infinitely rich breadth of shades and nuances. In its apparent simplicity lies the most colourful of gradations.
I also started mixing and matching techniques and materials: oil and water pigments, wax, lacquer, shellac, pitch, sand and much more. Experimentation is the only constant in a never-ending work-in-progress. Even a mistaken combination sometimes brings new ideas. Relaxation and excitement come hand in hand, in a carnival of joy.
May the slide show in this article convey a glimpse of the loving passion that drives my work more than my words are able to do.
Satyam (aka Umberto Bidinotto) started painting at age 14. In 1970, with a small group of young painters, he attended the studio of a master artist from the lineage of Giovanni Fattori. Satyam met Osho in Pune, in 1980. Ten years later he founded the Osho Meditation Centre in Treviso, Italy, where he still lives and works, leading meditations and workshops and gives individual sessions. Satyam has a degree in Philosophy and Psychology, and is trained in NLP, hypnosis, breathwork, Family Constellation and the Enneagram. www.omctreviso.it – www.satyam.it