ARKS OF ANGLES: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Now and Where Are We Going?
Angles, curves, lines, shapes, forms, figures, colors and shades are what we recognize before we understand the sound of language. Visually we see a world of shapes with edges like squares and rectangles, rounded shapes like circles and curves, corners where lines converge to form angles, colors ranging from vibrant and bright to muted and soft and shadings from light to dark. Other sensory systems likewise develop according to their specific function as they process countless perceptions from reality-based interactions.
As this rich and vibrant nonverbal world of sensation and feeling becomes assimilated into the complex structures of language, it becomes increasingly inaccessible and unconscious. However, this forgotten dimension is resurrected through our unique and varied artistic endeavors.
For example, in the abstract representations of geometric art, we can draw from this foundational stage of subjective and non-verbal experiences to recreate the mysterious patterns and perceptions archived there for creating works that often challenge our perspectives of reality and can, at times, even defy the rational mind.
I saw this perspective in operation when reviewing Kazimir Malevich‘s Red Corner exhibit and observing the placement of his Black Square painting in the corner by the ceiling and positioned so two sides of the work touched adjoining walls. This action became a controversial challenge to the traditional arts of the time. Moreover, in Slavic tradition, I learned from my Ukrainian grandmother that spiritual icons, many of which she herself rescued from the fires of WWII, used to hang similarly in corners of a room. This similarity deified and empowered the corner and its adjacent angles to represent the most sacred and safe place in a home because this was the place where people would pray and meditate.
In all my work, I wanted to experience the freedom of exploring the deeper and abundant regions of our unconscious. I have discovered that it provides my intuition with ethereal , sensual and often boundless altered states of perception that are ,I choose to believe, infused by the timeless Imaginal, the mother of human imagination, where unlimited possibilities of inspiration are available and waiting.
My intention in Arks of Angles is to continue adding to my nearly 23 years of evolution in the creation of abstract geometric shaped wood workings focused on the universal trichotomy of geometric waves, vibrational fields and optic frequencies displayed in a dynamic and synergistically orchestrated arrangement. Arks of Angles are hand-cut, hand-sanded, hand-crafted and acrylic painted PasColor* using redwood with irregular shapes and angles for the sides. I prefer working with the natural qualities of redwood. The knots, mineral streaks and natural wood markings add strength and textural beauty. I also like its intriguing spiritual meanings because for many cultures it is seen as a symbol of our connection to the worlds above and below us.
Art historian Dr. Jeanne Willette** wrote that one facet of my work was intended “ to reconsider what it means to build, to make, to construct in the most literal sense of the word “ and that my constructions “ are totally metaphorical and poetic “.
I also intend Arks of Angles to bypass some of the conventional practices of analytic descriptions and thrust the observer into a subjective feeling experience of reality where boundaries are illusory and everything is seamlessly connected from the micro to the macrocosm. As the senescence of the Big Bang Theory of our universe of space- time gives way to the emergence of consciousness as the fundamental truth and substantial reality of the universe of time, space and change, I hope this concept of all things seamlessly interlocked, like all the angles on the arks, will open an exciting all-inclusive experience of the universe as Mind, living conscious Mind. In fact, Oxford physicist Dr Timothy Palmer believes the laws of physics are basically geometric and that consciousness itself results from the universe working like a dynamic system of fractal geometry. ***
In the initial construction phase of my new work, the concept of the Ark surfaced not only in shapes but also followed as an intriguing metaphor relevant for the growing possibility of impending destruction brought about by a dark and corrupt dystopian world. Is this not where we have been? Hence, the Ark must carry a message of hope that life in all of its beauty and strivings for the best and most positive outcomes, will prevail. This is where we must be at the present. To achieve this can only result through each person’s willingness to change their mindset and align themselves with the highest order frequencies found in love informed actions. This is where we want to be going.
The implication found in the contemporary spiritually based concept of connecting with one’s “higher self” should not be construed as some magical mystical metamorphosis into some angelic form of radiant light. It should be seen as our individual future self in the final or continuing evolutionary form of our sole commitment to the work of being and becoming the best possible version of ourselves possible for service and contribution. This kind of work is love in action.
So the Arks must aspire, inspire and invite the viewer to experience deeper feelings and emotional subtleties hidden or latent in their own subjective inner world by contemplating the countless forms of smaller angles emerging into larger angles in varying degrees, directions, shapes and colors with boundary lines that are well defined or unclear. I want the abundance of these geometric shapes intentionally abstracted through a combination of differing degrees and variations juxtapositioned together to provide a rich subjective experience of feelings, sensations and fresh impressions. Even to, perhaps, offer an experience of these countless interconnected angles as reflecting or representing the countless perspectives that shape our world that , if properly understood, could be reimagined, not as separations or differences or divisions, but as subliminal metaphors that reflect the universality of human similarities along with the acknowledgement and respect of individual differences.
I also see the Arks visually depicting gender differences as complimentary. The masculine hard edges, angles, corners, lines, and structured textures evoke a rich feminine range of experiential felt feelings and emotions as seen in the arrangement of colors along with the separated structures in the interior of the Arks.
The separate multi-angled shaped structures inside each Ark is another feature I wanted to explore. This aspect is not meant to represent the mathematical axiom that the whole equals the sum of its parts, neither more nor less. Instead, it’s intended to illustrate that when working together synergistically in the viewers mind, both conceptually and experientially, the whole becomes much greater than the sum of its parts. New ideas can emerge from these perceptions and generate new meanings about the nature of any part of something in relation to its larger whole. The smaller internal structures are part of and related to the whole Ark, not only by proximity, but also by virtue of their similarities as well as their distinction by virtue of the space between their boundaries. The resulting synergy of tension between the two offers perspectives that are simultaneously inclusive and exclusive but would be non emergent without this polarity. This synergy of tensions is one of the driving forces behind discovery and results in reciprocating forces to create more drivers of creative tension .
It’s through knowing the Imaginal that I discovered my purpose. I believe that the vibrational energy of purpose generates a magnetic field to attract all things essential, necessary and needed for its manifestation through the wellsprings of my work. I am forever grateful for what I can only describe as ineffable, magical, mysterious and miraculous!
* See essays: Victory Over Gravity: The Neo-Supremacism of Mela M by Peter Frank, 2022, Reaching for the Stars: A Cosmic Vision of Hope by Patricia Watts, 2022, Losing Gravity in the Orbiting Megatropolis by Mela M, 2018 ** See essay: Making the Metropolis: The Built Environment of Mela M by Dr Jeanne S. M. Willette, 2018 ***The Architecture of Universal Consciousness, from Your Consciousness Can Connect With the Whole Universe, by Susan Lahey, Popular Mechanics Oct18, 2023