Monday, 10 December 2012

Oscar Niemeyer – Ahead of the Curve

I believe Art is where the Divine and The Human meet. It is the embodiment of the human spirit.

Oscar Niemeyer – the wonderful Brazilian architect who has died at the age of 104 – knew this and practiced what he preached with something as near to perfection as any human being can get.

I have been a fan of Niemeyer’s work for half a century. He was not a man known for straight lines and rigid rules. His creations, which adorn cities around the globe are full of life – literally and metaphorically. He believed in the curve. From the harsh materials of concrete and metal he crafted beautiful flowing lines. His buildings lift the spirit whilst still being functional and efficient; they are full of narrative.

In a famous interview Oscar said: "I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire universe, the curved universe of Einstein."

What a wonderful way to look at life and art. Similar thinking lies behind my latest and most ambitious artistic exploration: Love& Peace.  I owe Oscar a debt of gratitude… as do many more artists who have been moved by his work.

Oscar Niemeyer’s passing has focused my thoughts on my own work; my own need to create paintings and sculptures.

Throughout the ages, so many of us have looked to art to express our beliefs and explore the ‘big questions’ in the hope of finding answers.

Art has always told the stories of the human spirit. Beyond all differences, it is a universal truth that art reveals the invisible soul of the artist and makes our purest voice physical – it becomes the manifestation of our true self. We learn more and more about ourselves as we continue to create, which is why art is so much more than a pastime—it is a faithful companion for life! Without art and spirituality, I would not know myself. As I mould and shape my work, it shapes me.

To create is to give praise for all our blessings and try our best to make great use of them. It is an act of giving from the deepest part of one’s being. In my life, creation and spirituality are inseparable sisters. I cannot see one without the other! My soul is in my art, and my art is in my soul. Even the practice of art mirrors that of faith and reflection. It demands attention, endurance, and a particular meditation, leaving the spirit cleansed.

Every day I paint. Every day I pray. These are things that continually ground and center me. They are my joy, my grace, my gratefulness and my heart. I wish to share this joy with all, and from this desire, “Love and Peace” was born. It is a sculpture I give to the world with the hope that it will bring jubilation and serenity to every soul it touches. I feel Oscar would have approved.

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