it takes time and effort to enter
A great photograph or painting or sculpture has something about it and that would have to be, its level of consciousness in which the artist produced the work. This means that during the process of creation, the creator was in touch with his higher self and a discipline was being followed to just keep returning to the inner power of all things. The final piece produced would be imbued with that consciousness and it is this that we are searching for this inner connection in the work that transmits the purity of peace and bliss that reminds us of our own divinity.
It does not come without effort of the viewer who is looking at the work; some effort needs to be made by the audience in order for that connection to take place. The treasure is hidden and we have to dig for it and it does show that as the image maker made an effort to stay connected during the process of creating the work, we in turn need to also make the same effort in staying still and focusing on the work.
To fully appreciate a piece of conscious work, it takes time, and that means the time that you engage with the work, and stay focused on the piece not allowing the mind to wander and go off and be distracted. It is this sustained focus of the attention on the piece that is the portal to the inner substance of the artwork that connects us with its true meaning. How often have we been to an exhibition of a great master and gone away just saying that it was great and what wonderful colours or how lifelike it was. This is just the surface of the work and we have not in fact taken the time to truly connect with the substance.
I attended an art retreat at the school of practical philosophy a few years ago and we had the fortune of being tutored by a master sculpture named Nathan David from London. At the time there was an exhibition of ancient Buddha sculptures at the NSW Art Gallery and we were going as part of the study session in the afternoon. A fellow student asked Mr. David what advice he had for us in when we went to the exhibition, he said only one thing and that was to walk around the whole show first and pick one piece of sculpture that we personally appreciated. Then he said to just stay in front of that work for twenty minutes focusing our attention, not allowing the mind to wander and keep coming back to just connecting with the piece in mind.
I happen to have picked the seated Buddha in the entrance of the exhibition with a continuous stream of people walking past and moving on. My attention was solely on the stone statue and I had to make a great effort not to be distracted by the activity around the Buddha. After some time it felt as if I had transcended the physical world of the exhibition and I had entered the peace and stillness that was emanating from the seated Buddha. Knowledge arose that the artist who had produced the work was under discipline during the process of producing this great work .I was in the presence of the Buddha and the peace and bliss was not separate from by self, I was one with. The Buddha statue came from India and was created around the thirteenth century