War & Peace

Media Watch

The daily publication of one of Rashid’s artwork on The Culturium’s FB page has just concluded..

Each image is followed by an introduction by The Culturium and thoughts by Rashid. The Facebook page is publicly accessible (facebook.com/TheCulturium). The online magazine / blog, The Culturium, to which Rashid is a regular contributor, “explores the interface between spirituality and the cultural arts”. (theculturium.com)

4 April 2022

War & Peace 1

In a recent dharma talk online, author and Buddhist practitioner, Jack Kornfield, quoted Charles Dickens’ opening sentence to A Tale of Two Cities whilst meditating on the state of the modern world: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Rashid Maxwell – writer, poet, artist, beekeeper – has also felt impelled to respond to the current condition of our existence, creating a series of striking paintings and accompanying reflections that give expression to the inexpressible—both the horror and beauty of this life – in a series similarly echoing literary undertones, titled ‘War and Peace’.

The Culturium has been given the great honour of bringing his project to you, an image a day, for your contemplation in a venture to reconcile the irreconcilable.

“How do we deal with the horrors of war?

“The invasion of Ukraine brings us face to virtual face with pain, destruction and death and yet every crisis contains the seed of its solution.

“My partner and I committed to sit daily in meditation: not that it will stop the tanks and rockets or bring relief to the bereaved but to open up a space for seeing and understanding.

“Being a painter, images arose that wanted to find colour and form. I had to scurry around priming any canvases and boards to hand. Memory reminds us how things that seem to be bad are often good teachers and lead to more insight.

“The first three images of this series, perhaps not comfortable to view, reflect the fear and rage, bewilderment, grief and repulsion, yet also include the possibility of peace…”

5 April 2022

War & Peace 2

The seventh-century Korean Buddhist monk, Wonhyo, was one of the most revered scholars of his day, writing commentaries and treatises on virtually all of the most influential Mahayana texts and scriptures. Of particular renown was his theory regarding “harmonizing doctrinal disputes”, a hazard even amongst eminent nondual intellectuals: “Underneath turmoil and conflict,” Wonhyo wrote, “is unity.”

In a similar vein, The Culturium’s virtual artist in residence, Rashid Maxwell, showcases his continuing series, ‘War and Peace’, whereby incongruency and chaos are pacified by mutual cooperation, respect and inner tranquillity.

6 April 2022

War & Peace 3

In the third installation of his stunning series, ‘War and Peace’, contemporary artist, Rashid Maxwell, offers another insightful expression into the nature of mind, driven to despair by violence, destruction and bloodshed; and yet, in the very midst of all the heartbreaking turbulence exists a still, silent place, from which all of life emanates and where we can find everlasting tranquillity if we could but give it a chance.

7 April 2022

War & Peace 4&5

How can we make any sense of life, when harrowing images of the heinous acts of war are relentlessly broadcast on the world’s media platforms, filling our hearts and minds with utter hopelessness and despair at the fate of human existence.

And yet, as The Culturium’s visual artist in residence, Rashid Maxwell, depicts so arrestingly in our ongoing series, ‘War and Peace’, our time on this earth is the perpetual interplay of evil and redemption, chaos and order, darkness and light.

“The fourth and fifth paintings express the constant, shifting opposites within us and the world – war and its anguish, peace and its tranquillity – life as it actually is.”

8 April 2022

War & Peace 6

Continuing Rashid Maxwell’s ‘War and Peace’ series on The Culturium, the visual artist recounts his artistic practice in relation to the phenomenal world.

“The sixth and seventh paintings are as relentless but move from hate for the aggressor, pity for the victims, to a wider, deeper view of life’s dual impulses – how they are in fact two sides of the same coin: an integral part of life, like male and female, good and bad, black and white.

“There is a stillness at the centre of these paintings. In this world, birth and death are ever renewing of life. Creation and destruction evolve ever new forms. What we dislike is as important as what we like.”

9 April 2022

War & Peace 7

The great Lebanese-American poet, essayist and visual artist, Etel Adnan, once said, “Poetry, it is believed, is the revelation of the self. Painting, the revelation of the world. But it could also be the other way around.”

In viewing the seventh offering of Rashid Maxwell’s virtual installation, ‘War and Peace’, on The Culturium, it is obvious how Adnan’s statement is revealed to be true indeed.

10 April 2022

War & Peace 8

In the penultimate instalment of Rashid Maxwell’s exquisite series, ‘War and Peace’, The Culturium’s artist in residence expounds how the dichotomies of life coalesce into a unified whole.

“In the eighth painting these polarities come together – a visual expression of the contradictions humanity faces, opened up and seen in their entirety and balance. The introvert and extrovert, the dark and the light, the form and the formless are united with gratitude and joy.”

11 April 2022

Rashid Maxwell in front of "W&P 3

As The Culturium concludes Rashid Maxwell’s stunning series, ‘War and Peace’, our painter in residence reflects on his artistic practice and the meaning behind his powerful work.

“Art is always the attempt to express the inexpressible and, in this case, reconcile the irreconcilable. So a painter just has to fasten his seat belt, mix up some colours and follow the brush.”

For more information about Rashid Maxwell’s paintings, poetry, photography and creative designs in general, visit his website: www.rashidmaxwell.com


Rashid is also a regular contributor to Osho News

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