Ron Griffin, 600-00, mixed
media, 48 x 36, 2000.
Ron Griffin, 626-01, mixed
media, 76 x 36, 2001.
Ron Griffin, 630-01, mixed
media, 24 x 36, 2001.
Ron Griffin, 597-00, mixed
media, 36 x 36, 2000.
Art as a cultural language can be intellectual or spiritual. Ron Griffin and Dawn Arrowsmith both translate interior essences: Griffin of concrete forms, and Arrowsmith of imponderable realities. Their processes evoke both clarity and ambiguity, conveyed respectively by solid form and vaporous space.
|In contrast to Griffins exaltations of the material world, Dawn Arrowsmiths work springs more from her own inner world. Her exalted aim is to translate internal spiritual concepts into form. Arrowsmith joins countless artists who have been intrigued by Asian belief systems. Stanton Macdonald-Wright, for one, noted that Western logic and rationalism were limited in their powers to experience and interpret the world. Artists such as Kandinsky, Mondrian and Jackson Pollock, in an effort to meld Eastern and Western ideas, developed theories and methods to communicate illusive qualities. Indeed, this was at the genesis of modern abstract art.
Arrowsmiths investigations of nature, longevity and meditation took her into the area of Indian Ayurvedic practices, particularly in relationship to cooking. Her 1997-1999 Vata paintings were based on the exploration of an array of foods, spices and curries. She characterized her paintings as visual translations of scent. Her distinctive technique, although a vast contrast to Griffins, is no less exacting. Her visions evolve through the process of following the flecks in the natural canvas with paint on the end of a Japanese toothpick.
Still evocative of food qualities, her current works are again influenced by meditation practices, Buddhist philosophy and by her travels to the Orient. In Sacred Fragrances an orange circle dissolves into a dotted field of yellow and red color washes. The circle emerges as a fiery red whole in Buddhas Feast. Set like a giant sun against an orange sky, horizontal rows of pale green dots shimmer along the surface. In Buddha Within the circle becomes a blurry haze behind a series of vertical dots.
Arrowsmiths luminous paintings are the result of a system that is largely intuitive. It is geared toward conveying the nebulous concept of transcendence. The question remains whether we are capable of summoning objective realities from impenetrable mysteries. At the very least, art can evoke a state of mind. Her cosmic implications provide an avenue for contemplation.