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There, Not There

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The surprising power of green

There are two paintings in this entry.

The first gives a good feeling. All the shapes feel good with each other. They are very close together and whatever happens in the picture, they all take part in it.  But when I was painting, I knew that the big brown roundish shape in the middle of the lower half was a wooden wheel of a mill at the river, and I knew that in the water there was blood. In the painting it is violet. These belong to a traumatic event, not in this life, but I know about it.

So we have a trauma hinted at, but the context is like a quiet, friendly village, where the houses hold each other as they watch the bridge crossing the water. There are trees and the sky is playful.

An event from childhood

In the second painting the shapes seem to be in shock. There is a house. There is a line in the middle that could represent a little bridge. There are trees, grass and sky. But the sky seems to be torn. Maybe there is a scream in the sky. A dry, dead branch, is pointing at the scream. And there are these warm colored shapes, orange, red and brown, colors that do not really belong in this landscape. They are in the painting to describe something traumatic that is just happening.

The composition isn’t settled. Everything is moving from its place. Where will the pieces fall? We do not know yet.

Then, for a lifetime, the trauma that we had will be expressed in everything that we think and do.

Sometimes it will be hard to find, like in the first painting. In other times it will be strong and inescapable. Until we decide one day to let it go and we find a way to work on it till it is not there any more.

 

 

I used to be a graphic designer and an illustrator.  I became involved with the Chan Meditation Center and studied meditation and Buddhist knowledge with the late Master Sheng-yen from Taiwan. For twelve years I was in a process of deepening my meditation. I had many more experiences and insights and my life changed. After having illustrated more than 40 children’s books and writing two of them, I left this career too and went to New York University to study art therapy.

You can see more about Giora’s work on his blog and website

 

 

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