Heidi Thompson - The Colour Experience
Part of the phenomenology of meditating is that the act acknowledges that nothing is static. It is the dichotomy that exists between doing nothing and doing something for meditation can consist of sitting and doing as little as possible - watching the breath, for instance - but in this state the totality of existence as the oneness of being can be experienced.
Thompson's work has been described in terms of the spirit for over two decades. Her work has incorporated sameness and yet exhibited variety. It reads as focused yet offers great diversity.
This recent work goes even further into the non-attachment of Buddhist philosophy. Whereas works such as Yellow Veils and October from 2007 bring to mind physical objects - and the titles themselves suggest this - such as patinas, peeled wall paper, geological, seasonal, mineral and astrological substances or myriad associations attached to memories both vague and evocative; her new work is less substantiated by references from the physical world. The new work needs no references for it has a total identity unto itself.
The space contained between the dark boundaries of the borders is covered in flicks of paint that emanate light while still giving an illusion of depth. This new series is comprised of a detailing of nothingness. It affords endless contemplation without pulling the attention away from an overall oneness - an experience similar to focusing on the intake and out-take of breath in the body during meditation.
Using the piece as an object for meditation and paring the sensation down to the energy that is flowing into the eyes and being then transmitted to the brain, brings about a distinctly human frame of mind. Because there is no subject other than the materials that make up the phenomenal object that is the piece of art, there is room to enter into a symbiotic relationship with the artwork that is just about as pure as it can get. This pure seeing, because of the human cognizance, causes an experience - a thrill, perhaps, at the sheer beauty, or maybe dread at the subliminal mystery inherent in being or it could be a pleasurable shock at the glory of perceiving such a vision. There is less association in these new paintings for the medium is being assertive and allowing little room for fanciful imaginings. Just as a cut glass with the added surfaces enable more refraction and reflection, so Heidi Thompson's work progressively offers more of itself, more of an intense display of its own properties. This firmness of being centres the art work. It exudes a sense of confidence as if it were a direct manifestation of the spirit of creation.
Copyright © 2011, Julie Oakes