Saturday, 30 January 2016

Existential Steps

Existential Steps

According to existential philosophy and many religious, and 'spiritual teachings', there may come a point in the individual's life, where he or she may feel it imposed on them to question their own belief systems, which include the personal belief systems and the cultural inheritance of the individual. For the lucky few, this may be a smooth transition, but for many, may invoke a feeling of emptiness and existential anxiety.

The personal beliefs and cultural conditioning, no longer serve many individuals and to shed the skin of old belief systems and cultural or societal 'norms' may cause a feeling of intense unease.

With the confrontation with who you really are, which invariably comes into conflict to who you think you are, causes a conflict in the mind, of the old and the discovery of the real self, which lies hidden under the layers of conditioned thought or programs absorbed from the individual's environment since birth.

It dawns on the individual that he or she, is alone in their own quest for meaning and truth, which maybe a task not easily taken, but once the seed of realisation has been sown, there is only one way forward, which is to embrace one's own life and seek out their own meaning and values.

Not only will this cause an inner disturbance, the consequences will also cause an outer disturbance, with many personal relationships dissolving, but also a forming of new relationships, more in alignment with the individual.

With the individual's relationship with their own inner world, will affect their own personal relationships on the outer level with kind and also their relationship with the world at large. What happens within, happens without, and vice-versa.

The steps in this painting represent the angst and anxiety when confronted with this realisation. Finding oneself in an abyss of nothingness, with a glimmer of light at the top of the steps, with each step needing to be tread, before walking through the door to one's own true self and finally feeling secure with that union. A confidence with who you truly are, muting the self-sabotage of our own inner thoughts, while at the same time being unshakable in the face of the sabotage from the outside world. Nurturing compassion from the inside, reflecting to the outside. The ultimate goal.

'Existential Steps' - Painted around 2001/2002 by Mark Adams (Dramamask).

Thursday, 28 January 2016



Another early painting, in around the year of 2002. I was realising at this moment in time, I wasn't really an aspiring artist at all, but felt the urge to communicate ideas, whether that be to myself or to anybody who was interested. My endevours in painting and drawing were largely a private affair, although I wanted to develop a skill to improve a communication in form to what I wanted to express in 'physical reality'. I was thinking that the images I wanted to reproduce from my mind's eye, were in fact, essentially 'mirrors' to my own 'self'. On the surface, this may seem quite self-indulgent, but there were deeper meanings to all of this seeming tomfoolery.

Alongside the ideas of Freud and Jung, I was reading and researching a fair amount into the realms of Shamanism. I was also dipping my toe into the realms of Hinduism and finding parallels between modern psychology, Shamanism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Western religious traditions, which also included pagan traditions.

Although, a relatively simple concept, 'Mandalasm' was created with the idea of a mandala, from both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. The 'abstract' design, or symbol which separates the two faces in Mandalasm, is my own spontaneous representation of a mandala, which according to Jung, represents the 'state' of one's own 'inner' psyche. The psyche strives for balance and the ego, which most of us can only identify with at a conscious level, is only a fraction of a part which contributes towards the psyche's striving for balance, although the ego must recognise all parts to become balanced, which for the ego, is like searching to look at the back of one's head without a mirror.

The two face entities in this painting represent 'guardian angels', who, although are two separate entities, are one entity, who are one, but separate at a frequency. The entity or entities are female and represent a nurturing and caring quality, but also possess a darker side, which includes a freedom to explore, whether to one's peril or growth.

I personally, experienced these female entities, in my mind's eye on several occasions in my youth while learning certain activities and they came into my mind's eye at an intensity before making a choice for learning which would disturb my psyche and put it out of balance for a long time to come, which would force me into a position to face my fears and demons, when I may not have been ready at that stage in my life, although when is an individual ready? At this moment in time, an interest in Shamanism shed more light, on a universal dilemma. An archetype of a paradoxical nature which consisted of exploration and wonder, but also of warning and trepidation.