Temple's TangleWave Art Gallery

==Big Bang==

Big Bang, acrylic on canvas, 24"x46" © 1988

Although I saw and heard these things, I nevertheless refused to write them because of doubt and evil opinion. . .until I become sick, pressed down by the scourge. . .Eventually I began to write what I had searched out and come upon secretly. As soon as I did that, I became healthy with a received strength, and. . .I was able to bring my work to completion.
---Hildegard of Bingen [Scivias; Hozeski]

I was immersed in the writings of several saints and mystics during the phase of my life when I painted Big Bang. Upon completing it, I was interested to note it expressed the idea of multifarious reticulation: the repeated recapitulation of a similar idea or situation on a variety of levels, a unity or simplicity underlying the seemingly and overtly complex patterning of the cosmos. I was as intrigued by the fact that I had represented this idea unwittingly as I was by the representation of the idea itself. Similarly, in regards to the idea of multifarious reticulation, Hildegard states:

Now God has built the human form into the world
structure, indeed even into the cosmos, just as an
artist would use a particular pattern in her work.
[Meditations with Hildegard of Bingen; Uhlein]

St. Teresa of Avila, on the other hand, notes an "unwitting" aspect in her understanding of the creative process that was similar to what I had experienced:

. . .when the Lord gives the spirit, things are
put down with ease and in a much better way.
. . .it seems to me most advantageous to have
this experience while writing because I see
clearly that it is not I who say what I write;
for neither do I plan it with the intellect nor
do I know afterward how I managed to say
it. This often happens to me.
[The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, Vol. 1; Kavanaugh]

Big Bang was composed by superimposing the shape of a single star upon itself numerous times. Such repeated superimposition resulted in a very complex and seemingly chaotic patterning. It is important to remember, however, that this seeming chaos and complexity is simply the result of the interrelations of a single star shape with itself: the star shape transforms to create other shapes while retaining its own identity. Perhaps this is what the saints mean when they discover themselves to be part and parcel of God.

Below are some pertinent examples of the aforementioned texts.

St. Teresa of Avila writes:

Soul, you must seek yourself in Me
And in yourself seek Me.

With such skill, soul,
Love could portray you in Me
That a painter well gifted
Could never show
So finely that image.

For love you were fashioned
Deep within me
Painted so beautiful, so fair;
If, my beloved, I should lose you,
Soul, in yourself seek Me.

Well I know you will discover
Yourself portrayed in my heart
So lifelike drawn
I will be delighted to behold
Yourself so well painted.
. . . . . . . . . . . .
[The Collected Works of Saint Teresa of Avila, Vol. 3; Kavanaugh/Rodriguez]

St.Thérèse of Lisieux also writes of God as the Divine Artist who resides in the innermost depths of the soul:

"There is no artist who does not like his work to be praised, and the Divine Artist of souls is pleased when we do not stop at the exterior, but penetrating even to the innermost sanctuary which he has chosen for his dwelling, we admire its beauty."
[Thoughts of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus; an Irish Carmelite]

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