the face behind the face

I want my work to introduce, and to induce, that silent spaciousness we meet in meditation. Or Cezanne’s brush marks. Or in a wood at dawn. Or in Rilke’s verbal flights. Or in the sandstone vaulting of a high cathedral.

“When I became enlightened, the world became enlightened,” said the Buddha This set of prints explores the insight that all of us are sleeping buddhas waiting for the raw alarm call that will haul us back to wakefulness.

I’ve made drawings of the faces, pure and simple, of enlightened ones, of people on the underground, of friends and country innocents and grandchildren and old people. For months there was no other focus to my life.

As part of our survival kit, the human eye is fine-tuned to the reading of faces. For the artist, drawing human faces is a deep disturbance and incitement. We are exploring at the very limits of our eyes and hands. On the surface of a face there’s always change and every face is weathered by the woes and blessings of that life. I’m looking for the sea bed of a true identity; I am un-mooring faces from the bondage of their veering personality. The word ‘personality’ comes from the ancient Greek word for the mask (per-sona) through which their actors spoke. These pen and wash and pencil drawings-become-prints are to find what is not seen and never changes. We are not who we think we are.