“I believe that if it were left to artists to choose their own labels, most would choose none.” Ben Shahn


As a maker I work with the idea, held until the 17th century, that arts involved any skill or mastery in a practice.

The practices I focus on are;

Craft art – Textiles and Fibre

Visual art – Photography (light drawings) and Drawing (using local sustainable hand-made materials)

Movement art – Kalarippayat (a traditional martial hatha yoga from Southern Indian)

Health art – Mindfulness, Ayurveda, Prana Chikitsa (Energy Treatment), and Kalari Uzichil (Kalari Physiotherapy)

 

I am interested in inspiration, and its unknown origin. As an artist once explained to me, she “just saw it [the idea], kept seeing it and had to paint it.”

Art as a ‘physical manifestation of an internal creative impulse’.

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness – I wouldn’t know. But I am sure it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.” Aaron Copland

Or as Piet Mondrian believed;

“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel.”

My practice fits within traditional or Indigenous concepts of art that make little distinction between art and life. I understand that I am in a direct and real relationship with the world. From this perspective art-making is central to human and environmental wellbeing and vice versa.

The process of making is as much the art, as the final ‘object’ or outcome. I use local, renewable, raw materials for artworks and medicines. This stems from a background in environmental science, studying with Indigenous teachers and the influence of other traditional modern craft artists like Ben Richardson. Growing, foraging and collecting local materials slows down my life and practice, connects me to the landscape and my community.

My current work extends on a lifelong fascination with balance and harmony in a world of paradox and polarity; science / art, intellect / feeling, mind / body, microcosm / macrocosm, self / universe.

The fundamental arts technique I practice is mindfulness, awareness, or kenosis (from the Greek word for emptiness κένωσις, kénōsis) – going outside yourself – self-emptying – disciplined unknowing. My aim with this technique, along with dedicated study and practice within each art form, is to ultimately work intuitively; naturally.

“Intuition: knowledge and insight, including instinct, experience, faith, and reason” Dr. Brene Brown

Everything I have just said might have been covered with;

“Art? You just do it.” Martin Ritt

 

Alana