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PRAXIS
Ellen Hausner

The link between art and spirituality has oft been both mysterious yet palpable. The Praxis project is an effort to make the historically ethereal connection between these themes more tangible by inviting artists to describe how the two interrelate within their work. We reached out to artists and proposed to them a question: How would you define the role of spirituality within your art practice and how do you feel this affects your artwork?

Here you will find their answers.

“Creating art is the act of following each momentary spark and expressing it. . .”

 

The acts of a magical practitioner, a meditator, or an artist converge to the same point: being present in the moment and then allowing that moment’s infinitesimal being to expand and express the entire macrocosm. The universe pulses in its reality and the artist has the honour, privilege, burden of capturing that living beat. Creating art is the act of following each momentary spark and expressing it in the exact form, colour, line, or theme which is somehow and eternally ‘right’. Every slip or mistake feels like a distraction, a movement away from potential perfection of the Now.

Immanence, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 55 x 70 cm.

“The act of creating art is now my foremost magical and mystical work.”

Nothing has prepared me more for the act of creating than meditation and ritual practice, where all attention is focused on being fully aware of every thought, feeling, movement, not just of myself but of my surroundings, my space, my world. It cannot be a fully conscious process: the mind, emotions, body, and instinct all need to be in tune, and over-thinking leads to certain flatness in the work. Intuition allows form and line to spontaneously and expressively come through the brush. For me, that intuition has been trained through a focused esoteric practice where I have learned to relinquish control within set parameters. The act of creating art is now my foremost magical and mystical work.

“. . .allows others to access something which is much bigger than any of us.”

Inner Space, 2019, oil and acrylic on canvas, 35 x 40 cm.

Often my artwork reveals internal processes that I have been experiencing: the process of creation brings inner activities bubbling to the surface. This is an expression of the microcosm, to be sure; but the best work is when the macrocosm echoes within the images and allows others to access something which is much bigger than any of us. Esoteric, mystical, and ritualistic language may help to make sense of the visions and forms which otherwise may have no context. Nevertheless, none of that is necessary for the viewer, who ideally will respond viscerally to an eternal spark.

The Release, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 55 x 71 cm.

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