Guest Artist – Kathleen Farago May

Posted in Guest Shots on September 28th, 2010 by MadDog
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As the interlocutor on the Monty Python’s Flying Circus  used to announce, “And now for something completely different.” I ran across Kathleen Farago May seemingly by accident, as so often happens with social networking. Looking at her work, I was puzzled by the impressions I was experiencing. In the common parlance, the images are “spiritual” in nature. This means, of course, a lot of different things to different people.

I am very curious about the spirituality others. I lived my early years in, to say the least, a spiritually diverse environment. Finally, I had to make up my mind what I believed. For my own spiritual life, I found the “many paths” idea untenable. Nevertheless, I think that one way to become more firmly founded in one’s own beliefs is by trying to understand the beliefs of others. You can take out your ideas one by one and compare them to others. If nothing else, it provides a sort of canvas on which to paint a picture of what you believe. Learning about machines in general can teach you something about how your car works. It will not allow you to fix a faluty engine, but you might figure out how to change a tyre.

This is not a very popular idea among Christians, I know. But, for me, I find validification coming with understanding. I also find opportunities to “compare notes” with others concerning their beliefs. Along this path, I occasionally find those whose confusion or lack of belief can be addressed by quiet discourse and hearing ears.

But, we’re not here to talk about me today. We’ve had enough of that for a little while. I am curious to see if Kathleen’s images speak to others as some of them have spoken to me. Maybe they have different things to say to different people. It would surprise me if they did not. Artistically, the images are an exotic blend of the real and the surreal. It sounds crazy, but Salvador Dali keeps popping into my mind. I don’t know if I can explain that!  Kathleen uses photographic images, art and computer generated patterns for her compositions. Possibly this explains the “old” and “new” mix of impressions that I feel when I view them.

I’m going to present them with Kathleen’s comments. If I have something to say about an image, I’ll put it in after Kathleen’s text.


Gaia’s Song:

Mother Earth is so beautiful, and one of the most lyrical creations is the sea. I feel that this is her song, because like music, the sea moves and changes through time, the beauty being perceived differently, each time one encounters a song or the sea.

Being a sea creature and a lover of bush walking, this combination of ocean and mountain delivers an amusing experience to me. The computer generated interlocking sine waves seem to blend it all together.

Take Me Away:

A painting that is a prayer – seeking reprieve from a particularly difficult passage in my life, I was asking my angels to release me from the difficulty of this part of my journey. Within two months they did.

There are so many concepts of angels that I generally leave them alone. Whether they leave me alone or not is open to question. Life is confusing enough for me without them. However, if one is into angels, this is probably a comforting image. It has a strong Eastern feel to it, which strikes me as a little unusual. It certainly is a very nice bit of work.

Dancing in the Light:

About the joy of two souls sharing the light of life. At this point, when I painted this, I was still only imagining the joy that this could be, within three months, I had found the soul with whom that I am able to share this joy.

Well, I love to dance. Since childhood, dancing has been a part of my life. My mother taught ballet and my father taught tap. Together they taught ballroom, modern and jitterbug. Very naturally, this image strikes a chord in my heart.

Centered in Love:

Love has given me an enhanced perception of the beauty of life and I feel more able to perceive the miracle of each moment.

This one gets me where I live. It is a lovely composition. It’s truly magical. I feel all warm and fuzzy when I spend some time with it.

Bliss is Movement Towards Love:

“When I see I am nothing, that is wisdom. When I see I am everything, that is love. My life is a movement between these two.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

I’m not usually moved by purely geometrical patterns, unless they are grounded somehow in realism. However, having dabbled with computer programs which produce them, I will say that is much more difficult than one might think to come up with patterns which are visually pleasing. Most of them just look like, well, vaguely pretty patterns cranked out by a computer. I think that the reason for my ambiquity is that I am so fixed in reality. Focusing on photography can erase appreciation for other varieties of art if one is not careful. I find this image pleasing, so I’ll credit Kathleen with spending considerable time honing her skills.

Rising Clarity:

In my current state, I feel that my perceptions, both intellectual and emotional, have risen to a new level of clarity – I have emerged from the turbulence of previous passages.

I like this one better, possibly because it is not so utterly symmetrical. There is something else there. I’ll back off here before I am accused of critiquing something which I do not understand.

Hydrothermal Origin of Life:

With gratitude to Jan Messersmith for permission to include his original image. This is one of my fascinations – how life can manifest in such challenging environments as hydrothermal vents. This is not meant to be a scientific depiction, just a visual expression of my wonder and awe.

Well, of course I would like this one much better for a couple of reasons. First off is that it contains one my images of a Magnificent Anemone. Another attraction is that it actually has something grounded in reality in it. Yes, I like this.

Kathleen has revealed to me a few thoughts concerning her life. They are too personal for me to pass on. I can say, however, that she has long persevered and is now blessed. I would guess that she is probably blessed beyond what she ever imagined would be possible for her.

We hope for much. Sometimes we think that hope is, well, hopeless. However, if we stop to think about it with a grateful mind, we might realise that we probably receive many more good things than we really expect. Hope and expectation seldom correlate. Every day is a blessing. Every day has a value beyond purchase. We can’t buy more time.

I need to listen more to my heart. That’s the communications centre. The head is just an accessory.