East West: An Exhibition of My Recent Artworks

These photos are from my recent exhibition at the Butter Factory Studios in Denmark, Western Australia. Last year, for those of you who have not been following my bIog, I took the ‘plunge’ and dived into the great unknown, a journey that took me to the crossroads of ancient civilisations in Turkey and Israel and on to the contemporaneous convergence of cultural diversity in New York.

What I found was a treasure, a gem – and not the gold and riches kind! My pilgrimage unearthed my ‘segulah’- the wealth stored in my own levels of being, a force within…I spent time in Tsfat, Israel – the centre of Jewish Mysticism and immersed myself in a week-long retreat in Jewish Spirituality in Connecticut. I printed in studio workshops both in Israel and New York, attending printmaking workshops discovering new printing techniques in solar plate etching.

The artwork that ensued is deeply entrenched in Jewish mysticism, the fundamental structures of sacred geometry and eastern ornament. In my work, I have been exploring the subtle and the sublime through veils of colour and varying the order of my printing plates. The layered effect has become somewhat of a ‘signature style’ – exploring the notion of palimpsest and the build up and erasing of meanings.

The underlying and ‘silent’ essence in all the work is both a conscious and subconscious relationship with mystic sources…embodying the entire process – from the seeds of creation (Bereishit) to the process, and the outcome. The journey has brought me to a place where I am and feel a sense of Oneness. This work is a celebration of my journey and the path toward the unification of self.

I would like to express deep gratitude to my friends at the Butter Factory Studios, who have been so generous and encouraging along every step of the way (pre and post travels). I would also like to acknowledge all the people with whom I have crossed paths with on my recent pilgrimage - friends, family, fellow artists, teachers and mentors - it is your guidance, wisdom, and creativity that has touched me deeply and inspired me to create this work - like water to a plant in desert.

To journey without being changed is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying is to be a chameleon.

To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.

Mark Nepo