Celebration and Compassion
Chappel Galleries, Colchester, Essex
18 November – 31 December 2023 (closed 25 & 26 December)
A group winter show curated by gallerist Edna Battye and painter Waj Mirecki at the long established Chappel Galleries. Edna and I talked about religion and painting and she challenged me to paint something for this celebratory exhibition. I am not religious myself, I am too pragmatic therefore an atheist, so to paint something for this show I had to relate it to the closest experience I have which is meditation. Buddhist? Not quite; there are ideas around Buddhism I embrace, there are many ideas around all sorts of religions I agree with but I do not believe in worshipping deities and always type god with a small g.
The experience of swimming in the sea takes me away from my chattering mind into a place of joy, calm and a greater grasp of perspective. Whether it is the freezing temperature of the water, immersion in nature or the act of succumbing to its power I am not sure but it leaves me feeling so grounded and relaxed, a meditational experience.
Titled The Three Marks of Existence – a Buddhist idea around having a grip on reality which serves me well – is a fairly grand title which summarises all I have said above while also referencing the triptych.