This work, Cintamani – descent of the sacred reality, is a study for large scale installation works. These installations seek to transform a space with simple shapes that utilise ascending and descending forces to create a discussion of humanity’s place within the cosmos and our relationship with the sublime reality that can make certain places sacred.
As an artist, theist and residence of this beautiful planet, to be conscious of the living consciousness of the earth has always been an inherent necessity for my sense of wellbeing.
In Australia we have this great fortune that, for as long as mankind has been inhabiting this planet, a culture has been actively relating to the divine nature of the earth. This awareness is still embedded in the fabric of the land, not just as artifacts, such as what I found in my childhood roaming the hills of Korora, but as a trail of worship that spreads across time and space.
It is because of this resonance of worship that permeates in this land that it has only ever been natural for me to see the earth as sacred.
We interface with the world around us with the narratives we use to describe it, and through our modernisation and enlightenment from literal interpretations of limiting creation narratives, we have created stories that removed the presence of divinity from our relationship with the environment.
Free from the reaction from an unseen divinity, these new narratives have allowed us to sculpt, carve, push and mold the environment around us according to our desires, driven by progress with little foresight of the effects of our actions.
Human culture cannot but create and transform the earth, but our methodology will determine the quality of our culture. Once the notion of the earth is sacred, that life is sacred, is deeply entered into the narrative of how we relate to the environment around us, the process of how we design, create and transform the world becomes a vastly different aesthetic.
Everything we have is from the earth. The raw substance of the earth is transformed by the knowledge, intent and desire of humanity, into the most wondrous creations. Our homes, vehicles, technology, everything we make is created from the earth. I find this idea that the land can create so much variety when influence by the unseeable abstract human consciousness to be truly astounding.
In the Vedic culture of India relating to the divine consciousness of the earth is a natural worldview. The earth has a name, Bhumi Devi and she is worshiped as the mother goddess. When the Vedic Sages and Rishis described the transcendental reality beyond material matter they introduce the concept of a spiritual substance called “Cintamani” which is roughly translated as “wish fulfilling gem”. The vaishnava poets such as Rupa Goswami and Narottam das Thakur describe the soil of sacred places on the earth as being full of cintamani.
I have been exploring the subject of cintamani throughout my work for some time. My contemplation upon Cintamani is that it is an abstract substance that fluidly transforms due to the influence of consciousness. It is not a substance that you can acquire by force but an ornament of consciousness that descends from a plane of greater consciousness than our very own self, our atma. This plane is known in the Vedas as the paravyoma.
In this sculpture work I am attempting to portray this notion of a descending force of greater consciousness that oneself. I see this as the crucial factor for revelation, the impetus that drives an artist to create and what transforms our relationship with the environment around us into a vision of a sacred reality.