I want to update you & give you a sneak peek on what’s been happening in my studio since last August, where I’ve been developing a new body of work. Below are two images of details. (You’ll have to wait for my next show to see them fully, and in person!)
A big momentous shift occurred last year when my beautiful son left for College last August near the East Coast. They call it the empty nest, right? It’s real, and filled with so much. So many life shifts personally & globally going on in the world (like everyone I’m processing this too). In this new psychic & emotional landscape I found myself making some new paintings with a pattern motif I’ve used many years before – but now as an overall field, as a network, re-weaving myself into new communities – personal, global, cosmic. I could feel the longing, the grief, and the repair. These paintings reconnect me again to the potent story of Indra’s Net (see below). I’m pondering the mysteries of all we are living through and its magnitude. I’m contemplating the life force, cycles & familial lineages. I’m navigating from the stars, the light, and the cosmic web.
“Indra’s net” is an infinitely large net owned by the Vedic deva Indra, which hangs over his palace on Mount Meru, the axis mundi of Buddhist and Hindu cosmology. In East Asian Buddhism, Indra’s net is considered as having a multifaceted jewel at each vertex, with each jewel being reflected in all of the other jewels. In the Huayan school of Chinese Buddhism, which follows the Buddhāvataṃsaka Sūtra, the image of “Indra’s net” is used to describe the interconnectedness or “perfect interfusion” (yuanrong, 圓融) of all phenomena in the universe.
Francis H. Cook describes Indra’s net thus:
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each “eye” of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering “like” stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.
Indra’s net (also called Indra’s jewels or Indra’s pearls, Sanskrit Indrajāla, Chinese: 因陀羅網) is a metaphor used to illustrate the concepts of Śūnyatā (emptiness), pratītyasamutpāda (dependent origination), and interpenetration in Buddhist philosophy.