Indra’s net: a digital dance with virtual light-physics

Paul Mulliner is a first.  He introduces digital graphics to our artisans’ gallery and eloquently explains both his reasons for choosing this medium and the view he loves to explore.  And what a view it is – nothing less than the dance of the universe, the “cosmic consciousness-field.”

I asked Paul to contribute a few words about his digital art practice for this post.  At his page in the gallery you’ll find more examples of his artwork and a sample of his writing about consciousness.


Paul Mulliner - digital refraction image
 
3D computer graphics software can simulate the physics of real-world light as it refracts within and reflects around the assembled objects or ‘models’ you place in the virtual 3D space provided to you by the software.

This capability of 3D graphics software offers the possibility of working with refractions and reflections to create digital art images.

For the refraction-image shown, an underlying graphic field of connected elements is expressing an intuited non-local connectedness and fractal self-similarity at all scales within the cosmic consciousness-field.

This underlying field is refracted through various transparent foreground shapes, which hint at quantum-scale dynamic process-structures such as the spin-resonance field-fluctuations known as sub-atomic ‘particles’, atoms and molecules.

Perhaps there’s also an expression here of the way that the underlying cosmic field of consciousness emerges into our world through the particular lens or prism of our awareness.

Part of the pleasure of working with virtual light-physics to create images is that the interaction of transparent 3D models with an underlying, structured graphic field often generates unstructured and unexpected refractions.

It’s fun to play with moving objects and lights around each other, to see how they interact and create refractions and reflections.
 

Paul Mulliner - still frame from digital animation sequence

 
I’m also working on an animation sequence which generates changing reflections as various mirrored objects move around each other.

It’s possible to create a 3D array or matrix of mirrored spheres, in which each sphere in the array reflects every other sphere in the array.

Any change of colour or size of any one of the spheres is immediately apparent on the surface of every sphere in the whole array.

This is a clear expression of the apparent non-locality of the consciousness field, in which anything known locally is also known immediately throughout the whole field.

An array of mirrored spheres has obvious similarities to the ancient Buddhist metaphor known as Indra’s Net, which describes the interconnectedness of the Universe as being like an infinite array of jewels, each one of which contains an image of all other jewels in its surface.

Like a non-local, dynamic-hologram, with fractal self-similarity at all scales, every part of the whole field continuously adjusts to changes in every other part of the field.

An intelligent, dynamic interconnectedness, orchestrates and binds together all of what we know as reality everywhere.

Each one of us is entirely connected into and known within the whole Universe.

– Paul Mulliner

at the artisans’ gallery

website


Note:
The 3D digital modelling and animation software required to create digital art used to be rather expensive.  However, with the emergence of Blender, which is open source software and therefore free to download, this is no longer the case.  The images featured here were created with Blender 2.78 or 2.79.
https://www.blender.org/


investigating the mind through art

Hildy Maze is an artist who sees her practice as an exploration of the workings of the mind. We welcome her, with her contribution of images and reflections on her practice, to the artisans’ gallery.

 

The Awakened Eye: Hildy Maze - Cutting Through

 

[The paper]… Touched in any way there’s a response; a fingerprint, wrinkle, rip, drip or tear, which then becomes texture and language, traces of process and practice as echoes or footprints challenging our conditioned response to things worn, torn, old, wrinkled or ripped as good or bad, acceptable or not acceptable; challenging our dualistic way of seeing the world.

 

The Awakened Eye: Hildy Maze - Rumblings of Nostalgia

 

My work is driven by a curiosity into the investigation of mind thru art. None of us can avoid thoughts, but through awareness of our pitfalls, beauty, strengths and weaknesses we can open windows into the mind. The core of my contemplative art practice is to visually embody the blind spots as a result of our thoughts. I am interested in the study of how the mind works as a means of gaining insight, how we communicate, how we create identity through form, emotions and consciousness, and how we hide in that creation. Essentially this work is about all of us and the empty, clear and unconditional nature of mind we all have.  When we know the nature of our mind we will know the nature of our world.

– Hildy Maze

Images and text ©copyright Hildy Maze
http://hildymaze.com
https://www.facebook.com/hildy.mazestudio
https://theartstack.com/artist/hildy-maze


To read more, and view other examples of Hildy’s work,
please visit her page at the artisans’ gallery


artisans

artisans’ gallery

dharma art – the art of living artfully


From the bookshelf:

Chögyam Trungpa: True Perception - The Path of Dharma Art

True Perception: The Path of Dharma Art


 

the philosophy of presence

 

NGV - Bushido - Way of the Samurai

 

Bushido: Way of the Samurai

National Gallery of Victoria to November 4

Sadly I won’t view this exhibition as I live too many hundreds of kilometres away. But I’m prompted to share a post about it here after reading a review by Christopher Allen last weekend, in The Australian newspaper. I always enjoy Allen’s reviews; he fleshes out his essays with asides that I’m often not familiar with. I learn much from him.

Japanese art and artisanship is, however, a familiar and deeply loved topic for me, having had the good fortune to spend time studying in Japan and working with extraordinary artisans there. The young Christopher Allen also spent time in Japan, and while I’m not sure whether his understanding of Zen was formed in those early years, it’s a joy to read his wise summation in his review of this exhibition.

To read the entire review please click through to the page at The Australian


 

NGV-Samurai-sword

 

What bows, arrows, swords, calligraphy brushes and teacups have in common … is the philosophy of Zen Buddhism. The word Zen is the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese Chan, in its turn an adaptation of the Sanskrit Dhyana, which means meditation or the meditative state of mind. This variety of Buddhist thought in particular seems to have absorbed much from Taoism, which emphasises stillness, attentiveness and awareness of the life of the natural world, and is the deepest inspiration of classic Chinese painting and calligraphy.

Zen teaches presence above all, inviting us to be in the here and now rather than distracted by memories, anticipations, desires and fears. This state of presence is constantly available to us, yet it is not something that we can want or aspire to, since the very act of desiring separates us from being in the present moment: to look for enlightenment, as a famous Zen saying goes, is like looking for an ox when you are riding on it. We only need to stop wanting and desiring and we will find it.

This philosophy of presence does not require one to live a monastic life; it is rather the spirit one can bring to all aspects of daily life, and for that reason Zen was able to become the spiritual philosophy of the samurai. Its relevance to the art of the bow, for example, was the subject of a book by Eugen HerrigelZen in the Art of Archery, originally published in German in 1948. The secret is in the direction of attention and in the elimination of self-consciousness; the archer must forget himself and think only of the target.

The principle is not hard to understand. You obviously cannot meditate if you are thinking “I am meditating”; the meditation starts when self-consciousness stops. Similarly with almost any craft: a potter, a pianist, a painter or a writer has to forget themselves and be entirely in the act. It is the same with swordsmanship, which superseded archery as the quintessential samurai art of war.

The great swordsman, as Zen writers such as DT Suzuki explain, achieves a state of emptiness, of “no-mind”, which alone permits the rapidity of reaction and the accuracy necessary to preserve one’s life and defeat the opponent. The conscious mind is simply too slow: it would get in the way of action.

Many famous samurai stories are about swordsmanship, two of which are illustrated here: in a triptych of ukiyo-e sheets by Kuniyoshi, the 12-year-old Ushiwaka, a prodigy of the art, overcomes the master warrior-monk Benkei at the Gojo Bridge (1839). And once again in a set of three sheets by Utagawa Yoshitora, Night Attack of Kumasaka (1860), we see the young samurai Yoshitsume single-handedly fighting off a band of brutal thugs.

 

Utagawa YOSHITORA: Kumasaka's night attack on Ushiwaka-maru at the Akasaka Post-station in Mino Province

 

The serenity of his expression and the refinement of his youthful features are contrasted with the grotesque types of the bandits, as he parries an attack from their leader with his fan while beheading one of his henchmen. The ­attackers are in a blind intoxication of rage; ­Yoshitsume is in the stillness of no-mind, so that to him each blow is executed with the slow deliberation of a calligraphy master composing the characters of a poem.

Christopher Allen


Images courtesy of the NGV website.

Top – Upper portion of a suit of Samurai armour.

Middle – Samurai sword

Bottom – Utagawa YOSHITORA
Japanese active 1850s-1880s
Kumasaka’s night attack on Ushiwaka-maru at the
Akasaka Post-station in Mino Province

1860 Edo, Japan
colour woodblock (triptych)


Eugen Herrigel –  Zen in the Art of Archery


who sees the tree?

 

Piet Mondrian: The Red Tree (Evening), 1908 - 10, Oil on Canvas

Piet Mondrian: The Red Tree (Evening) 1908 – 1910

– – –

Look outside at the sleeping tree there. Who sees the tree?

… Does a body do the seeing or does awareness, consciousness, life see it? What sees the tree? Consciousness? – or a body-centered custodian of consciousness?

Where is the tree? Fifty-seven feet removed from a body-oriented ego-container of awareness, a judge who likes or dislikes what he sees? – or is the tree within awareness? Is the seeing of the tree the activity of a separate-from-the-thing-I-see recipient-of-life, a so-many-year-old male or female pump filled organism who looks out through bloodshot eyes and answers to the name of Bill? – or could it be that it is Deity being the “seeing”?

Indeed, isn’t it just possible that Isness, Reality, God, is the seer “seeing” and being the seen? Could it just be that “seeing” itself is the identity “we” are?

Could we be Life itself rather than the recipient of it? Indeed we can! We are!

– William Samuel, The Awareness of Self-Discovery


In order to understand the true meaning of Abstract Art,
we have to conceive of ourselves as a reflex (reflection) of reality.
This means we have to see ourselves as a mirror in which reality reflects itself.
– Piet Mondrian


Image source: www.pietmondrian.info


I am becoming the paint itself

Barbara O’Sullivan
Whangarei, Aotearoa-New Zealand

 

Barbara O'Sullivan: No Beginning No End Of Beginning

No Beginning No End Of Beginning (detail)
6 panels, each 92 x 61 cm, PVC and Acrylic on canvas

 

The studio is the place where there are few rules and so my practice is based on the question ‘what will happen if’’?  Trying to pin down the opposites of figure and ground is fraught with the frustration of trying to solve a nonsensical problem, however, I have discovered that the language of paint is such a subtle and magical thing that it is able to speak for me.  The energy I bring to the painting studio is transmuted into the work itself and becomes the life of the paint.  Each time I lay down a colour, spread and mingle different tones, explore the effects of texture and make decisions about presentation, I am becoming the paint itself and it becomes my voice.  There develops an awareness that the paint, the painting and the painted merge into one and the sense of separateness dissolves.  The clear PVC sheet becomes a membrane, a thinly spread division between the temporal and spiritual, which then dissolves because it too, is empty.

– Barbara O’Sullivan


Continue reading at Barbara’s page in the artisans’ gallery

Source:  Extracts from Painting the Paradox of Emptiness – Barbara O’Sullivan’s dissertation for her Master of Fine Arts Degree.  This document can be downloaded from the artist’s website, and is highly recommended.

Images and text © copyright Barbara O’Sullivan

Website