AN ART ESSAY
Artist BRONWYN CALEY speaks with ROSALIND PEARMAIN about her art and her philosophy of life, and shares some of her paintings.
Q: What is the inspiration for your art?
BC: A drawing I made as a young child of seven years old amazed me, as it felt like a kind of magic! I had drawn a full-length portrait of a friend, small, and in pencil. It had captured something of her essence. I remember it to this day.
Fairy stories, with beautiful illustrations, were a childhood favorite. Later, art was at the center of my education and at the center of my life. I loved so many things from the art world: other artists’ work, other students’ work, exhibitions, museums, architectural magazines, churches, stained-glass windows, crafts. I was all the time studying, creating and making.
Progressing to art college led me into new directions, from drawing, painting and sculpture to costume design, dance, performance and then to making tapestries. My tutors were inspiring and helpful, with opportunities to learn new skills.
Q: How has your work evolved over time?
BC: It has constantly changed. The need to balance making a living and having a space to work has been a major challenge throughout my life. Consequently I worked as a part-time teacher, leaving time for creativity. Support came from various sources such as Northern Arts grants, exhibitions, publications and creative friends – writers, poets, artists, publishers and craftspeople. Some recognition from major galleries gave me confidence in the works I had produced.
During my time living in Durham, I had what I can only call a mystical experience of being in Divine Light: it felt timeless, with a sense of “a peace that passeth all understanding.” That became a major source of inspiration over many years.
The move to London helped me to evolve further, with exposure to wonderful exhibitions, galleries, cultural events, concerts and so much more. During that time I found Heartfulness, or rather it found me! It gave me a more profound understanding of spirituality, and this discovery showed new aspects of consciousness, an awareness of the spiritual heart. Here was a philosophy focused on ancient wisdom and knowledge, which consequently led to new and different works inspired by meditation on the heart. Subsequent titles such as “Akasha,” “Swimming in Infinity,” and “The Magical Function of Zero,” reflect these experiences of inner dimensions previously unknown to me. An inner geography was being revealed. At present, I am working with watercolors on a series called “Inscapes.”
Q: How does Heartfulness Meditation influence you?
The gift of Transmission gave me the idea to create these wonderful, divine, magical qualities into paintings, but how difficult it is to realize them! And so I continued, trying to communicate with that which is invisible to the physical eye but experienced through spiritual sight. Qualities such as softness, subtlety, fineness, other-worldly beauty, for example, were translated into line, shape, form, color. How to share this through art, through personal limitations? The challenge continues.
Q: How does Nature influence you?
BC: Nature has always been a source of wonder and awe. It displays infinity of forms, geometries, colors, textures, through incredible diversity – rocks, crystals, flowers, plants, water, animal life and much, much more. Learning to look when drawing, for example, at the smallest details of a feather or shell, is evidence of Nature as Divine. I was fascinated by Ram Chandra’s use of the capital N in Nature, as we use the lower case in English. This seemingly insignificant detail was like a revelation. Of course Nature is sacred, and we partake in that. We have access to incredible resources both external and internal.
The gift of Transmission
gave me the idea to create
these wonderful, divine,
magical qualities into painting.
Q: What have you learned through immersion in your art?
BC: Art is like a doorway, an entrance to yourself and other. We gain knowledge and skills that follow with practice, time and experience. Abilities are acquired but always with love, with education in the broadest sense. The journey is full of infinite possibilities, infinite potential. I am still learning. We can be co-creators, makers. We can be inspired. Meditation is also an invitation to enter, to step on to a path leading into a divine adventure. A journey within. The goal is union with the Divine.
Interview by ROSALIND PEARMAIN
Art by BRONWYN CAYLEY
June 29, 2020
June 29, 2020
June 29, 2020