Absence and Presence

 

After my father passed in 2011, I embarked on a journey to India in the hopes of coming to terms with my grief and the absence of his presence. Searching for the familiarity of that lost connection took me to Mumbai, Jamner, Jalgaon and Ganespuri. It was my first significant contact with the richness of Indian culture.

 

I was mesmerized by the colors and textures of the timeworn architecture with its weathered walls, the landscape scorched brown and beige, the vibrant pigments of the “holi” festival of color scattered like moving paintings, and the kaleidoscope of saris parading down the dusty streets.

 

Everywhere, I was welcomed with silent smiles of acknowledgement and quiet complicity. Amongst the Ashram’s sacred ancient grounds, populated with mythological statues, exotic birds announced the promise of morning’s arrival. Here, my inner compass was aligned; I felt a sense of rekindled hope. This series captures the colors and textures of my spiritual journey in India. The built layers of paint reflect the internal depths of my dreams, memories and mediation, where my father sometimes visited.

 

The impetus for creating these works is in remembering and sharing a journey of transformation from absence to presence; from separateness towards unity; from feeling adrift to feeling connected. I offer these paintings as mementos of a pilgrimage to a place and space that opened me up to the possibility of moving out of the dark and into the light again.