Limerick Printmakers are delighted to present Innumerable Subtle Creations, an exhibition of new work by emerging artist Dawn West. The exhibition will be officially opened in 69 O’Connell street on Wednesday, December 9, at 6pm and continues until Monday, December 21.
Dawn West is the recipient of the 2014/2015 Limerick Printmakers Bursary Award, an accolade given to an outstanding graduate of LSAD’s ‘Printmaking and Contemporary Practice’ degree program each year. The award has become an integral part of Limerick Printmakers remit and one that confirms Limerick Printmakers core ethos of both promoting printmaking as an art form and encouraging emerging artists working within the discipline.
“ … wandering above and below, the Spirit makes for himself innumerable subtle creations”(Mascaro, 1965, p. 135)
Shortly after moving to Waterford, the artist was in a charity shop in the small town of Kilmacthomas. On the changing room floor lay a translation of the Upanishads; ancient Sanskrit texts, written between 800 BCE and 1400 CE, which form the basis of Hinduism and some aspects of Buddhism. The incongruity of finding this book in so unlikely a place seemed like a contemporary version of something that might have happened in one of the stories in the book and led to inspiring West to create this body of work.
One of the key philosophies of the Upanishads is Oneness; the deepest level of our being is the same as that of Brahman, the Absolute who creates and maintains the entire universe. This connects us not only with the divine but also with everything else in existence from molecular to cosmic. Separateness is anillusion which causes suffering. The successive breaking down of the interconnectedness between ourselves and the universe we live in is having catastrophic effects upon individuals, societies, nations and the planet; reducing our humanity and estranging us from the wonder and variety of life that nourishes our spirits. We become facsimiles of ourselves, driven this way and that, yet tethered.
Rather than prescriptive instructions, the Upanishads present a universal message, which pertains directly to global society, that only when we are reconnected with the universe through joy, love, meditation and contemplation do we achieve liberation.
The works in this show consider these ideas primarily through the mediums of intaglio and monoprinting. Referencing Indian mudras (hand gestures performed as part of Hindu and Buddhist
spiritual practice) and the ornate decoration found in Indian textiles and temples, there is a meditative aspect to these works both in their creation and contemplation. Our spirits need a slow and quiet wandering to be able to form for ourselves the subtle, simple creations that will reconnect us to each other and the world in which we live.
Mascaro, J. (translated by), 1965. The Upanishads. London: Penguin Books.
To read more about Dawn West click here
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