Tapping into Multi-directional Energy
The human understanding and study of the Cosmos is as ancient as human civilization itself and our current knowledge, though vast is actually only a fraction of Cosmic energy, time, matter and mass. One may be left with many questions especially if one were to attempt to combine the understanding of the Cosmos with that of the Divine order, as did Aristotle.
The treatise De mundo (dated around the 1st cent. BCE) offers a cosmology, in the Peripatetic tradition (philosophical tradition founded by Aristotle) which draws also on Platonic and Stoic thought, and subordinates what happens in the cosmos to the might of an omnipotent God. Thus, the work is paradigmatic for the philosophical and religious concepts of the early imperial age, which offer points of contact with ‘nascent Christianity’.
In the Vedic understanding of the Cosmos it is even more vast and philosophical. The most common cosmological conception of Lokas in the Veda was that of the Trailokya or triple world: three worlds consisting of earth, atmosphere or sky, and heaven, making up the universe. In fact, Many Hindus believe that there are 14 lokas, or worlds that make up a multiverse. They believe that there are inhabitants in each of these planetary systems.
The artwork of artist Sonika Agarwal touches upon these various aspects of Cosmic belief, understanding and philosophy in a manner that is deeply visual and experiential. Her paintings evoke a very personal and yet universal understanding of the Cosmic belief and energy and it touches the inner core of humanity, shaking loose the weight of our own mundane existence with the power to embrace something larger something that is both scientific yet divine. The opposites of light and dark come together in a unifying moment that is truly both spiritual and also deeply physical so that one may experience and contemplate the unity of these diversities present in our universe.
The phenomenon of looking inward and retreating to that quiet place inside, where all the dualities and oppositions of the world unify, is perhaps an outcome of the Corona virus and the subsequent lock down that required us humans to take time off our busy schedule and retreat to a more solitary and meditative state of being. It has definitely provided many artists with a chance to reflect and draw upon their inner self. Sonika speaks of one such phenomenon where she was encouraged to introspect and draw upon past experience bringing to it a new vigour and understanding. Instead of just conjuring an impression of planetary motion, with spheres, circles, lines and ellipses, Sonika has focused on the element of light, evoking it through paint that is luminescent in the dark. She has used colour, mass and pattern to convey a composed dynamic amid the uniformity of her circles, a shape that she feels has opened up a fourth dimension – one of spirituality. Sonika taps into the potential of cosmic sound that vibrates with the energy of life what is known as the ‘cosmic motor’, that propels us with its vitality.
The ease of bringing together scientific belief and the Vedic understanding of the universe is almost seamless in Sonika’s approach; the metaphorical is evoked in her understanding and fascination toward the ethereal dance of life. Many artists like Edvard Munch (Dance of Life, 1900), and Henri Matisse (Le Dance, 1910) have referred to the celebration of human life. Munch employs a masculine gaze where he evokes the virgin dressed in white, the married woman dressed in red and the old widow dressed in black to symbolize these important phases of a woman’s life. Matisse preferred to focus on a group of multi-gendered nude dancers caught in a collective moment of ‘innocent freedom’ and joy, holding hands as they whirl around in space. Sonika’s dance of life is evoked by her use of abstract swirling lines, going deeper into the center of the canvas touching the primal human desire to tap into force of life. Where human energy comes together beyond the limits of physical form; rather it is in formlessness that she gathers the spirit and takes it to another level of consciousness. The cosmic ocean flows beyond the binaries of Purusha and Prakriti (male and female) encompassing the forces that are self-generating like an Electromagnetic force or a self-powered multidirectional energy.
‘Try to paint your world as though you are the first person looking at it – The wind … and the cold – The dust – and the vast starlit night.’ Georgia O’Keeffe
Radiance of Cosmic Consciousness
Would any soothsayer of Art predict that 'Radiance of Cosmic Consciousness- Who Am I to Who I Am' would someday feature as a milestone in the history of Art? Would they take their artistic license to suggest that Mona Lisa’s eyes would follow these artworks at the Louvre, like they do at all visitors with her mysterious smile of 'Cosmic Consciousness.' This remains an artist’s fantasy, the drive behind the exhibition that we present before you.
Historically and cosmically, it is often out of disorder emerges order. For instance, Post World War II, Abstract Expressionism emerged in America. Now post Coronavirus too some new Art Forms may emerge, which are not referential to the past as the world looks inward for spiritual salvation.
The 'Radiance of Cosmic Consciousness' possesses a universal language, a new story to tell with an innovative technique not intimidated by the past. For over seven years as an artist I have been looking inwards doing my sadhana at my studio evolving and upgrading my technique to create these mystical paintings that take you on a spiritual journey from 'Who Am I to Who I Am.'
The artworks are similar to the X-ray vision of the Cosmos. They represent the sound and vibration of energies of the Cosmos. 'Where there is a vibration, there is bound to be a sound, which means the whole of existence is just a complex web of sounds.' - Sadhguru (Born Jagadish Vasudev 1957)
It is about seeing the unseen, hearing the unheard where the grosser light vanishes into the radiance of the cosmos. 'ॐ Aum is the primordial, effulgent sound which permeates the entire cosmos- the wise call it by many names. Spiritual masters concur- ॐ Aum is the universal sound and not religious in nature. ॐ Aum, Hum, Amen, Amin are one and the same. It is the invisible divine power, the only doer, the sole causative & activating force that upholds all creation through vibration.' The biblical words refer to the threefold nature of God as Father, Son, Holy Ghost (Sat, Tat, ॐ Aum in Hindu scriptures).
ॐ Aum is the vibration and sound that in a subtle way is omnipresent and is the common chord that binds these 'Radiance of Cosmic Consciousness-Who Am I to Who I Am' paintings together. These paintings resonate with the description of experiencing the Cosmic Consciousness by the spiritual masters.
What makes these artworks unique is that they are an eventful expression of inner life- the spiritual cosmos inside a human being. These are visual images of the spirit which is countless tissues of light. It is here the cosmic beams condense on the canvas to dance over forms unconcerned about joining the dots and traversing from formlessness to form. 'While painting, I remove myself from the stage itself and let the Divine play for me.' This act transports the painter to a place within, which most people yearn to understand and reach to. It is commonly believed that to understand the world is far more important than to understand yourself. These paintings are arresting flashes of insight, an unabashed declaration of our inner radiance: 'Of what use is knowing the ends of the universe, if we cannot understand the microcosm of our Self. AtmanamViddhi- Know Thyself.'
'ॐ Aum is the Radiance of Cosmic Consciousness that is condensing on the canvas illuminating the vibration of the cosmic motor and sound of the cosmic drum.'
Sonika AgarwalRead more