the way of trust and transformation
In 1979, Jerry Wennstrom destroyed all the art he had created, gave everything he owned away, and began a new life. He sensed an inner and outer world in perfect order and became a willing participant in that order – he leaped into the void, the ultimate creative act.
Wennstrom’s wish was to open to the energy of life itself. In releasing the structure of daily habits and routines, he learned to trust and appreciate the significance of each moment. This entailed relying on intuition, listening keenly to the deeper nature of feelings, and wisely observing the ways in which our inner world reflects the outer, and vice versa.
My only intent as an artist is to remain open to what comes through the spirit of the moment, hopefully without bias. My creative/spiritual journey has been about personal and collective transformation. The most effective means to this end has been to remain as fearlessly present as possible. Generally speaking, some of the more powerful breakthroughs have come to me through questioning and facing personal/collective fears. Naturally, the essence of this exploration is reflected in the overall expression of my artwork.
If an artist’s intent does anything more than hint at the ineffable, the work is reduced to what Joseph Campbell calls “propaganda” (art with an agenda.) What inspires, liberates and empowers the artist will do the same for the world – if the artist has risked everything for one radically, creative breakthrough. To do this, one has to face a level of fear and loneliness so large and culturally ingrained that the risk would deliver either everything or less than nothing! For us to experience liberation, on any front, this same, fearless confrontation with the Mystery is required.
A mature creative life, which has discovered its source, finds it is linked to everything. When we are able to tap this source and link the illumined threads, we no longer want to live our creative lives separate from it. A creation that does not have the residual glow of its source can, at best, only sound a deathly rattle – however impressive that rattle may be.
– Jerry Wennstrom
Images and text © copyright Jerry Wennstrom
The Inspired Heart:
An Artist’s Journey
– Jerry Wennstrom