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Photo: Fred Dott

Black Light

Black Light refers to the kind of darkness I once experienced as a precocious 21 year old during a 5 hour long meditation session. I had been practicing about a year and had gone past the trauma of seeing a ball of light tear a hole in the space-time fabric of a friend’s apartment when it came to me. I had thought I had arrived at a spiritual end point, only to realize that the ball of light was only a confluence of all senses arriving in the soul at once without any hierarchy organizing them – aside from a force that was knotting them up neatly in a ball of radiance. Some weeks later, after sitting peacefully within a smooth and infinitely black space for hours, I decided I had become too weird to share my experiences with anyone, and so it was time to discontinue practicing mediation. All these years later, painting has become a new spiritual practice for me.

The process of making this work involved the usual construction of circles that I use to set up a canvas and to construct a pictorial framework for an image that I hadn’t fully defined. I added patterns in bright magentas and blues that created a series of rhythms, and then I almost buried everything under a thick glaze of ultramarine blue. I lost the majority of work I had done, excepting a few traces of coloured shapes and some of the pencil lines of the compositional circles. I proceeded to try and bring back the patterns as best I could, even though they were lost in most places. I found something other than an origin.

When I look up into the sky, and I think of gravity as Einstein describes it – a series of troughs that planets roll through like marbles, it boggles my mind to think of how all of these paths overlap one another from an earthly perspective.