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Spiritual Artwork and the Death of Materialism.

Materialism As Distraction

I guess what I am looking at in this article is the fact that materialism hasn't solved the problem. For me art, as guided by spirit, can express and show us a true purpose to our lives. In the past spiritual artwork was used as a way to educate, to initiate and to express the hidden meaning of things. Unfortunately, most contemporary art offers many subjects but very rarely expresses anything other than the form of the question.

The nature of materialism lies in the belief that reality is ultimately physical. If this belief was based on Truth, consumerism would make us truly happy yet the world has become more chaotic. When we strip away the veneer of materialism all we find is a distraction. If you're having trouble following me just look at the new technology. Our phones can bring us information from every corner of the globe but doesn't bring us together. You may chant from the pulpit to the stock market floor, that we are all one yet we love to promote our individualism and diversity.

The return of Spirit, through spiritual artwork, into culture is not simply a wish but a necessity. Taking responsibility for your actions is only the beginning. The path away from littleness, greed, selfishness and conflict is shown to us through the spirit. Made manifest by the creative Mind of the artist it leads to a true understanding of Self. The idea you are a physical body, born to consume and use and take, is a distraction wrapped in materialism.

Labels Maketh Not The Man

One of the things that will need to change is our need to label every single, bloody aspect of a person. In regards to creativity, what does sex or race or ethnicity or even level of education have to do with the final piece of art? This, of course, isn't talking about the subject matter, just that we feel the need to define the person. As if it will give us a better understanding of what the artist is trying to say. It's a subtle way of categorising and discriminating and it doesn’t serve anyone. If true equality is to be experienced then, for better or worse, the labels have to go.

As an artist I want my artwork to look interesting and have a depth of meaning which may not always be obvious. If the work doesn't get your attention then you certainly aren't going to ask "what does it mean?" And what's wrong with asking "what's the work about?" Everyone that walks into a gallery thinks they'll appear stupid if they ask questions, but how else will you learn? Learning leads to understanding and understanding comes from a recognition that you do not know. This is where I am trying to lead you if you think you know you will not seek the guidance (which IS in you already) to show you who and what you really are. When I see any artist being categorised or labelled I feel it imposes limitations on the viewer and discriminates against the artist.

What The Hell Is Spirit?

I know that the idea of spirit has a lot of religious connotations but while it would include all religious practises it is in no way limited to that. For me, spirit is an ever-present guide that wants nothing more than to assist me in every aspect of my life. Creative inspiration, available at all times without discrimination seeks true expression. It isn't physical yet can be made manifest in form, it isn't verbal yet can be heard deep within yourself. It's communication and it's as natural as the sky is blue.

To access this communication is to ask for it and then to listen, not just with your ears but with your heart. I know I am guilty of sometimes getting too literal with my image-making. When I think I am in control or fail to listen then this spiritual artwork gets tight and flat and loses its way. But when I stay open to change and follow that internal guide it is effortless, joyful and beautiful. I think art has to transcend. It has to expose us to something greater within ourselves. It's not for some audience, it's for me, so I can remember who I am and what my purpose is.

Skilful rendering, amazing technique and pretty pictures or objects will only have a small place in the future of art. The next generation will look to the Spirit to find meaning and to the artists that express that new world. A world without greed, poverty and limitation. It's right in front of us but for the asking.  Materialism was never going to offer anything more than a distraction, which is becoming more obvious every day. The rewards that this new spiritual artwork will bring forth will guide our purpose, drive our creativity and lead us out of the darkness. And in that I Trust.


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