When Buddha is not enough
In January 2020 I begin the year with an artist residency with the arts organisation ‘Made in Roath’ at their premises 1a Inverness Place, Cardiff.
The subject matter for the residency is based on a poem I submitted titled ‘When Buddha’s not enough’.
So why this title? There was a point earlier this year that I realised that the images we look to for spirituality and connection are predominantly male. At that particular point in time, let’s just say I was keenly aware of the prevalence of patriarchy in society and how it can covertly eat into everything including the closest relationships…with detrimental effects. (Perhaps I’ll share the specifics at some point- but it’s whole other story that may even have its own body of work.)
As a feminist, however much I admire the teachings of the Buddha, I realised this beautifully carved figurine sitting on my desk, no longer offered me the sanctuary I needed. I now saw him as just another man who had been elevated to this grand position- the face of Buddhism. Where were the women/ the female deities?
I was born into the Sikh religion which has 10 Gurus all of whom are men. Christianity has Jesus. The only female presence I was aware of was Hinduism which has several Goddesses but the main deities are Krishna and Shiva.
This residency is about looking to create something that someone like me, who is spiritual, without identifying with any particular religion, might look to when they need comfort, guidance, spiritual support.
Is it female based? Is it without gender? Can it be drawn? Does it need to be 3D? Does it need to be something more complex? I want to keep the door open and trust that I have the ability to create what comes to me. If I feel it needs to incorporate sound or music I will invite musicians into the process.
I have yet to decide on my approach. I could research world religions and see what has come before, or I could tune in and meditate and see what comes through.
One thing I do want to do is to start a dialogue with other people that this resonates with. Are you tired of what’s on offer- in your quieter moments do you crave for an alternative? Would you be interested in coming on this journey with me?
Email me and we’ll work something out.