Sunyata-a narrative for Julian Voss Andreae

“In long space, human prospects are extreme,

Alone as snow drifts up, you watch the distance-

The work of quiet breathing precludes fellow hermits.

Chanting idle rhymes, you neglect to carry firewood.”

                                                                     ~  Hsi Chou (Chinese Buddhist poet monk)

I was 6 months old when my parents took me to Bodhgaya (a village located in the northeastern state of Bihar, India) for my rice-eating ceremony which was conducted at the Mahabodhi temple. For some reason, my mother insisted that the ceremony had to be concluded under the “Bodhi Tree” where Gautama Buddha had attained enlightenment and where he had been awakened to suññatā. My mother, who believed in the  Buddhist philosophy of creating awareness and consciousness at a very early age, had the faith that even as an infant I would respond to the emptiness and radiance of facing the east (symbolizing a rising) as the Buddha had done-meditating under the Bodhi Tree till he accomplished a state of complete equanimity, where “ignorance was banished and true knowledge arose, darkness was banished and light arose as happens in one who abides diligent, ardent and resolute.”

Birds, monkeys, humans sit everyday under the Bodhi Tree- so did I when I was an infant. Sitting under the Bodhi Tree did not make me understand impermanence, pain and suffering, help me practice mindfulness or keep my mind calm and free from distraction. Life itself became my Bodhi-Tree, the raw brushstrokes of unanticipated pain and separation made me realize that my life is a painting with no colors, a poem with no message, a rosary with scattered beads flicking through my numb fingers. All of these experiences came upon me later, when my mother left us to become a nun. I started stitching memories on a blank canvas, learning as it were, the art of meditating on emptiness, on the void that underlies all physical manifestation.

I believe I grew up to be a very normal girl, who lived life to the fullest despite my parents getting separated when I was only twelve years old. I was raised by very spiritually discerning souls-my estranged parents, my aunts and my uncle who did not propagate a particular religious doctrine that I was compelled to follow. I attended Jewish Girls School and went to a Catholic college and prayed at a Hindu temple and never found a reason to examine the self, look for God or ponder upon the Buddhist concept of suññatā. Much later I learned that in Pali, suññatā could be interpreted as voidness or emptiness of the self, though Thai ascetic philosopher Ajahn Buddhadasa said-“if one must translate suññatā, voidness is the best choice. Emptiness is too close to nothingness… suññatā doesn’t mean nothing or nothingness, then it’s useless and has no benefit.” According to Buddhadasa, the Buddha said that the world is suñño (void), but there is still a world-it is a void that exists but possesses a void of atta or the self: “It’s like a material vacuum, there’s nothing in it, but there’s still space.”

My father on the other hand, helped me understand the concept of emptiness by introducing me to the sense of presence and absence in Japanese aesthetics and by introducing me to translations of Chinese and Japanese poetry and Buddhist poems in Sanskrit. He also made me aware of the manifestation of the Buddha Nature and of the essence of the ideogram “mu” in the Kaisho, Gyosho and sosho styles. My father made me perceive how emptiness visualized through Japanese art could help develop great resilience of the spirit and how each line, brushstroke and tapered curve had a certain tension that crystallized the teachings of Buddhism and enlightenment was more a state of practice of perfecting the strokes in the mu ideogram, than just expecting a miracle. Over the years, the way of the brush, both in writing and thinking, has been my Zen master and has taught me that true emptiness is without form and that mistakenly we create something to grasp.Sunyata Symbol

I have been deeply influenced by the enso which begins at the top of a circle, swings around and ends back at the top-which imbues the circle with a sort of nervous energy- a feeling of unsettling, imperfect smudginess that brings to mind the phrase: “The great square has no outside, the great circle has no inside”. Especially after my father passed away quite early in my life…times when I needed him the most, my heart has become an enso-feeling weightless in the mind, despite an underlying sense that I am moving in this vast universe, timelessly. I did a lot of soul searching to truly understand suññatā, which in the terminology of the Prajna (wisdom or insight) school is “the world of the absolute and Tathātā (suchness or thusness) is the world of particulars.”

Sunyata is formless but is also the mainspring of possibilities.

All my inner ramblings needed a physical manifestation-for Sunyata embraced both emptiness and fullness and I was looking for an artistic interpretation of my speculations about Sunyata. I was in the quest of a technique that could suspend all my half-hearted pre-judgments and become an expression of the mind. This process begun when I started communicating with German scientist and sculptor Julian Voss Andreae about his “Quantum Buddha” project. Julian educated me about Sunyata by helping me explore the deeper nature of existence through his articulate sculptures. (Previously a quantum physicist at the University of Vienna, Julian attempts to magically to create tangible forms of sculptures based on his insights of the world as portrayed in quantum physics.) He said, ‘I want to increase the audience’s capacity to intuit the unfathomable deeper nature of reality by sensually experiencing the works. ‘I was thoroughly drawn to how Julian was equating the ‘disappearing angle’ (double slit experiment in quantum mechanics), to the direction of a person’s gaze (which is also unique to each person’s perspective) as applied to an old concept in Cambodian Buddhism. He related the concept of Sunyata by bringing together ideas, images and experiments in the world of Quantum physics to visually depict the hovering between existence and non-existence that is essential for the functioning of reality. His holistic approach made me realize that art and quantum theory had the ability to transform the challenging aspects of modern physics into something beautiful and relatable-and this grew upon me as a creeper plant would around the windows—caressing, entangling and healing all at once.

Quantum Buddha by Julian Voss Andreae

When I observed the Quantum Buddha (titled Sunyata) sculpture piece, it seemed to disappear when one walked around it. The multiple sliced parts had been impeccably arranged in a manner that was not just aesthetically pleasing but translated the theories in quantum mechanics to Buddhism through art. I stared at the sculpture at length and for some reason I found an immense spiritual affinity with the changing perspectives of form and formlessness, of being and vacuity, of presence and absence. This led me to equate Julian’s concept of the interplay of form and formlessness with a research collaboration between Mette Ramsgard Thomsen and Tony Hicks (Strange Metabolisms) at the University of Brighton. This project explored knit structures in architecture through slits, protrusions and layering. The project was an exploration of the making of a city-of emergent behaviors, where knitted skins wrap and pleat the inner and the outer, seeking to entwine dependencies and independencies with respect to forms and fibers. Multiple fibers knitted through each other and the visual and tactile interactive expressions in this challenging new world of textiles and computational technology translated in my mind as the interaction between object and non-object where one cannot exist without the other and through this, I envisioned the parent child bond through presences or absences. Sunyata image-1

This once again makes me think of the imagery of the middle way between opposites of existence and emptiness that is recurrent in Japanese arts. Japanese puppeteer Chikamatsu wrote an essay titled Kyojitsu Himaku Ron-translated as the Doctrine of the interspace of the skin membranes between unreal and real being-where Himaku is the skin membrane or the clothing of the puppet which conceals an empty space. The skill of the puppeteer lies in the manner in which he manipulates the membrane to reveal the emptiness within all of existence. For me, Julian became this puppeteer whose quantum sculptures helped me understand the various perspectives of Sunyata-where everything comes to be in the nothingness of its being.

And so, I felt…

Audio link for Sunyata-Please click here!

Sunyata:

This is a real story.

Today I shall speak aloud the words of emptiness.

Today I shall express the feeling of being and not being.

Today I am Sunyata,

You are Sunyata,

I am form,

You are form,

We are emptiness.

It all started when I was twelve and my mother said she was going to become a Sister of Mercy. She said to me that she had heard the calling from God. She wanted to be with the angels and saints. So she brushed past me, my father———us!

Sunyata

And I heard the biting chill,

Stared at my white sighs,

Glued at the windowsill,

Like a thing that could be touched,

And felt-

My life numb,

Still!

And ever since,

I have been catching drifting fireflies

Through long nights.

Watching shadows on empty walls-

Arresting the passage of time.

Then I became a lamp,

And played with patterns and forms.

But when I became thread,

And saw myself through folds,

Protrusions,

Slits,

Twistings and layerings,

I looked above and saw

A hazy roof knit with golds and reds,

Mother and I tangled in the empty skies.

Mother I have now figured,

Why I always see you sitting inside a box of silk-

Clouds of nylon laces always moving around

You-

In this world of Sunyata,

Nothing can be grasped,

Everything is moving,

There one moment

And then not.

I sense your spirit in bamboo ink,

My universe-

You now move in and out of the terse strokes of my brush,

Interspersed with images and texts-

The rest I just make up.

And then ultimately, I feel like a Duchampian readymade-

Like the chimney ventilation that turns in the mind,

Or the geometry textbook suspended,

So the theorems get the facts of life,

Exposed to the test of wind, rain and sunshine.

Modern art-

Black on black,

White on white,

How much less nothing can be-

You,

Me,

Our memories,

But Sunyata is beyond strategies.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo-

We devote ourselves to the Buddha within us,

And blend into the seeds of the Lotus

In our hearts.

Half the sky,

Dips so low,

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,

The moonlight,

The mountains,

All there a moment ago,

My birth,

My spirit,

Now obscure.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

I am Sunyata

A Child’s ascent to the Sun

Σήμερα θέλω να μιλήσω απλά

Today I want to speak in simple words

Για τις σκιές που περπατούν στο φως

About the shadows walking on the light

Για ένα ορφανό που έμοιασε στον Ίκαρο

About an orphan like Icarus

Που αέναα πετά ψηλά

Who incessantly flies up high

Για νά ’βρει της μάνας του την αγκαλιά

to find the bosom of its mother

Ένα παιδί που πλέκει ονειρα με φως και ήχο.

A child that weaves dreams with light and sound

With the silent tongues

Of the newborn sun.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Νά ‘μαι

Here I am

Είμαι η Σουνυάτα

I am Sunyata

Καμωμένη από νειάτα αέναα

Made of endless youth

Εγώ που κυνηγώ με στεναγμούς

I who chase in sighs

Άσπρα καράβια στους αιθέρες

White boats in the sky

Ένα πλεκτό διάφανο

A transparent quilt

Της παρουσίας και της απουσίας της.

Of my mother’s presence and absence

Μορφή εγώ

Form myself

Μορφή κι αυτή

From herself

Κι οι δυο μας απουσίες.

Both of us forming absences

Ουσίες που χαθήκανε στο φως, αν θες

Essences lost in light, if you wish

Οι παρουσίες μας απούσες

Our presences absent

Deux êtres absents

Two beings in absentia

Toujours unies dans le néant

Yet always united in the void.

L’art nous transforme en la première matière

This art transforms us in the primordial matter

De notre amour éternel

Of our eternal love

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Νά ‘μαι

Here I am

Είμαι η Σουνυάτα

I am Sunyata

Με κρατά απ’ το χέρι η μητέρα

My mother holds my hand

Στην παρθενική μου “άτα”

In my first ever walk

Σ’αυτό το αέρινο υφαντό της ενιαίας ύπαρξής μας

On this very quilt of our fused existence

Το μόνο που απέμεινε

The only relic

Ένα πουκάμισο αδειανό, μαθές

An empty shirt, if you wish

Μιας άλλης ιστορίας ανείπωτης

Of another untold story.

Τούτη είναι η ιστορία μου

This is my own story

Είναι αληθινή

A true stroy

Η δίνη μου

My whirl

Και η οδύνη μου.

And my pain.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

Νά ‘μαι

Here I am

Είμαι η Σουνυάτα.

I am Sunyata.

The sun will fade,

The moon will curve and sing its white lullaby,

But our scattered patterns will stay afloat

On the grey sky mirrored still black lake,

Suspended ‘tween

Form and formlessness.

Sunyata.

(Vassiliki Rapti who is the chair of the Ludics Seminar at Harvard University and is affiliated faculty at the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing at Emerson college, is also a dear friend with whom I have been collaborating over the years. Vassiliki having read my words on Sunyata, made a shift in the belief that the gnosis of awakening consists of discerning that the true nature of things is emptiness. Her ludic sensibilities motivated her to create a new consciousness through her approach towards Sunyata and she looked to her ludic practices and spun in a new perspective in Greek and French to allow Sunyata to surround us with the poetics of form and formlessness. She says: “This poem is part of our ongoing collaboration called “our ludic music”, a project that started in August 2013. We blend our voices by pulling out from our subconscious the invisible threads of sounds and patterns that we let guide us and fuse our voices. With Sunyata, a real story, —Ivaana’s story—, I immediately felt my role as an intermediate between the absent yet ever-present mother and an orphan’s life. Captivated by the touching quilt of mother and child’s embrace, I thus immediately assumed the role of a narrator whose task was not only to tell the “untold” story of a non-quenched filial love, but to also turn it to a consoling lullaby that would work therapeutically both ways. I started thus weaving a narrative frame to embed the story that I was offered as a gift and then the following lines automatically emerged forming a wave, as they were switching from one language to another and at the same time echoing a line from Greek Nobel-laureate poet George Seferis that has always resonated with me:

“Δε θέλω τίποτα άλλο παρά να μιλήσω απλά

Σήμερα θέλω να μιλήσω απλά

(Today I want to speak in simple words).

About the shadows walking on the light

Για ένα ορφανό που έμοιασε στον Ίκαρο

About an orphan like Icarus

Που αέναα πετά ψηλά

Who incessantly flies up high

Για νά ’βρει της μάνας του την αγκαλιά

to find the bosom of its mother

Ένα παιδί που πλέκει ονειρα με φως και ήχο.

A child that weaves dreams with light and sound.

And then the narrator’s voice was absorbed to the point that my own voice blended with the initial voice of Sunyata. It was the magic power of the sounds of Sunyata  that encapsulated a powerful image for me, that of a child’s first walk towards the sun, an image that was born by the combination of the words from three different registries: Sun (English) y ( “and” in Spanish) and “ata” (meaning “the first walk” in Greek when speaking to a baby). The power of translation liberated the narrator’s voice that broke free from its initial narrative frame and instead it became fused with the initial voice of Sunyata and what felt as impossible to be told to be expressed directly by blending multiple voices as a kind of palimpsest. What is presented here then is a true story that has been first filtered by many registries (including the French) and voices and then distilled and compacted as one: a formless mother-child love and therefore an indelible love of sounds and quilt patterns.)

A few words with Julian Voss Andreae

Ivaana: Julian, when I first came across your works-what struck me the most was how you could dare to represent quantum phenomena tangibly! I wondered what it was that first triggered you to unify quantum physics, consciousness, transcendence, eastern philosophy through your sculptures that seem to emphasize on the continual dynamic relationship between realms? (my father, who studied eastern philosophy and mathematics always tried to introduce me to the parallels between modern physics and eastern mysticism-but it wasn’t until I started following your works that I found renewed interest in this subject).

Julian: I have always been very interested in ‘philosophical’ and religious questions, even in my childhood. In my youth I wanted to go to art academy in Germany but then changed course after attending some philosophy classes. That renewed my old interest in science, in particular physics and biology. I realized pretty quickly that everything I was interested in pointed toward quantum physics and I enrolled into physics waiting anxiously to get started with quantum physics. One reason to start making quantum physics inspired works was out of a desire to grasping them myself. Not so much ‘understanding’ in an intellectual way but a child-like or animal-like way of grasping with my whole body through something I can touch. I didn’t think of it as ‘visualizing quantum physics’ in the first place. I liked to create real manifestations of images or approaches I carried in my mind. The “Quantum Man” for example, the first work consisting of parallel slices, was inspired by a playful or naïve desire to make this walking man image out of ‘wavefronts’ – I don’t think I imagined him to ‘disappear’ until I completed him and looked at the work. Then this disappearing become a central feature of the further evolution of such works.

Ivaana: Please share with us your experience of getting started with your quantum ‘Buckyball’ sculptures. I know there are some other renowned sculptors who have now come up with their version of Buckyball sculptures and some of them focus on the illumination or the geometric patterns. But tell us of the Buckyball as a quantum mechanical object and of how you conceived of it. I would like to suspend the ‘shaping spirit of imagination’ and request you to explain also if you could, why you have one Buckyball installation (in Oregon) in the heart of nature, around trees. In the description, you write: Steel and Trees-30’(9m). As a storyteller, I have a lot going on in my mind just with the description on its own- but am strongly reminded of English poet D. H Lawrence’s collection: Birds, Beasts and Flowers in which his poetic sensibilities project into the lives of birds, beasts and flowers-“The Almond Tree….odd crumbs of melting snow. But you mistake, it is not from the sky, from out the iron, and from out the steel, flying not down from heaven, but storming up…setting supreme annunciation to the world.” Your ‘Steel and Trees’ installation Julian, has for me a similar idea of continuity expressed by the elements in nature and its multiform manifestations.

Julian: I was intrigued by Buckyballs since my youth, when they were discovered. I got really into them scientifically during my graduate work in 1999 where we used them as the (at that point) largest particles ever to probe wave behavior of matter.  I made my first Buckyball sculpture right after graduating from art college in the spring of 2004, guided by Leonardo da Vinci’s open-faced Buckyball illustration of 1509. I felt slightly uneasy about this full sheet of bronze that I bought to create the piece and I was intrigued by the idea to ‘recycle’ the cut-out faces to create another Buckyball. I ended up making four sets of Buckyball out of that one sheet of metal and it seemed natural to nest them into each other, and an interesting metal working challenge. It may have occurred to me only later that the nested balls mirror the structure of the quantum mechanical wavefunction that describe the Buckyballs in our experiment. I happened to have that first Buckyball in my car when I delivered another sculpture to my very first collector who had just bought two protein pieces – and they liked it so much that they bought it right then and there. Events like that were really important in the early years to give me faith in pursuing this incredibly risky career of a sculptor. I am aware of Leo Villareal’s illuminated Buckyballs and Ai Wei Wei’s Buckyballs made from wood of old temples but I think both made them after my 2004 piece. The large Buckyball you mention was built in 2006, originally for a temporary exhibition in a state park in Oregon. I picked a tree that the Buckyball would surround. It had a large branch about 30’ above the ground and I cut the 90 steel struts to just the right length so the assembled Buckyball could be installed sitting on the ground and using that branch for support at its highest spot – Buckyballs are not inherently rigid structures since the faces are not triangulated. In the second iteration, coincidentally on the property of the very same collectors who bought the 2004 bronze Buckyball, I found this amazing group of three large Douglas firs of similar size and arranged roughly in an equilateral triangle. I really liked that the Buckyball embraced the tree in the first installation. It felt somehow very ‘quantum‘ how the installation blurred the usual boundaries of the ‘objects’. I could emphasize this effect by surrounding the whole group of firs (using its inherent symmetry) and suspending the Buckyball fully into the air so it can also be experienced from below.

Ivaana: I am honestly at a loss, yet again! You have such incredible works that I would like to discuss that it is difficult to pin down on one subject. Nonetheless, must ask you about the birthing process of your amazing “Protein Sculptures”-especially ‘Synergy (2013).’ This particular sculpture based on the structure of the collagen molecule is hypnotic and somehow it seems almost kinetic in its cleverly structured design. As a lay person, it visually reminds me of the mysterious “Helix Staircase” of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico or an ancient petroglyph or an Odissi (Indian classical dance form) dancer bending and spiraling her body to reflect a transference of form between dimensions. There is no end to the creative translations that we can gather from this work and would love to know more about its inception process.

Julian: The protein sculptures were my first body of sculptural works. In my physics research I became familiar with proteins because we were looking into how to extend our Buckyball experiment ‘towards life’, towards biomolecules. And my then-girl friend (and now wife of over 18 years) told me about the Green Fluorescent protein, a molecule she used in her work as a neuroscientist. Shortly afterwards, in my first sculpture class in art college, we had an assignment to rearrange a long piece of lumber with a square cross section using compound mitered cuts. An essentially one-dimensional piece of material is transformed into something three-dimensional (i.e. occupying all three dimensions to a similar degree) only through rearrangement of itsparts. No material is added or lost. This felt analogous to the way life goes from genetic information, stored in the DNA as a one-dimensional sequence of base pairs, to three-dimensional bodies by creating one-dimensional chains of amino acids that curl up into three-dimensional objects, proteins, which comprise the machinery of all life on earth.

I explored turning a number of structurally as well as conceptually interesting proteins into protein sculptures. Shortly after the Buckyball mentioned above I made a work based on the structure of collagen, the most abundant protein in our bodies. When I put the final touches on this 12’ tall piece titled “Unraveling Collagen”, strapped to the telephone pole in our street in front of my garage, it was also the last piece I made at home, realizing the need for a proper metal working studio where I could grind metal all day long without driving my neighbors crazy. This piece led over a decade later to “Synergy”, my second collagen sculpture, for Rutgers University’s Center for Integrative Proteomics (the place where those protein structural data I had been using are stored), made from stainless steel square tubing and colored glass.  The specifics of the design follow to a large degree from my mitered-cut approach in combination with the arrangement of the amino acids in the molecule as revealed through the methods of science. I decided to give each of the three strands a particular color, one of the primary colors, to connect the synergy between the strands to the idea that all colors can be made from the three primary colors. The Rutgers piece conforms quite closely to the structural protein data because it is for a science institute and I felt that type of faithfulness is important in that case. I actually had many very detailed discussions with collagen specialists at Rutgers to get everything right. One issue, for example, was how to connect the three molecular strands in a way that ‘does justice’ to the location of the molecular bonds that play the equivalent role in the molecule. The first collagen piece ‘Unraveling Collagen’ was quite different in that respect. I started out using the scientific data but decided at the end to depart from the structure as it is found in nature and open up the three strands toward the top, hence the title ‘unraveling’ – I was intrigued by the metaphorical consequences of this step: The molecule consists of three spiraling strands that wind around each other in a ‘meta-spiral’. Unraveling collagen makes me think of the collagen in our skin, about the wrinkles we find on our bodies when the structural strength of collagen decreases. I felt reminded of ‘world lines’ in physics, trajectories in phase space that encode the whole history of objects. We meet, and dance around each other, and then we depart from each other. That is how it felt to me.

Ivaana: Amongst your more recent works, Isabelle -stainless steel, concrete, programmable color LED lighting (2018) is almost someone we know or would like to know and yet may not or cannot or should not. This site -specific work (Downtown Palm Springs, California) is for me, reminiscent of the fictional character of Daisy in Scott Fitzgerald’s novel-The Great Gatsby-just as much a vision of the ideal and of Daisy’s own illusion making effects. Yet unlike Daisy, Isabelle seems to have a much more transcendental purpose in her being. She is a meditative and sensual spirit who seems to exist in each one of us who has the desire to listen and share our sufferings with and heal us through her mindful and spiritually nourishing stance. How did “Isabelle” happen and what are your own thoughts about her.

Julian: This is really interesting to me what you write about “Isabelle”. I do have my own thoughts and feelings about her that go in a similar direction. “Isabelle’s working title was ‘Mermaid’, a theme I have been guided by in other works, initially based on a formal analogy to Copenhagen’s ‘Little Mermaid’ and then also to a mermaid’s mythological quality of being seductive, an illusion luring in people. “Isabelle” is located in a passageway that opens up in a curve toward a plaza and my intention was to create a piece that entices people to come from the plaza toward her spot, like a mermaid the sailors. I renamed her because (among other reasons) I wanted her to elicit a spectrum of interpretations, not only the ‘seductive illusion’ pole, but all the way to something that feels innocent and youthful; I imagine a spirit like a water nymph, who has healing and rejuvenating powers. This spectrum is like the translations of the Sanskrit word maya – it has a spectrum of meaning stretching from ‘illusion’, as in ‘bad’ and deceiving, to simply the way the appearances emerge in the world, not good or bad, but problematic when we naively assume them as ‘real’. This sense of perceiving the ‘real’ world as ‘maya’ has been an important part in my more realistic looking, stainless slices piece of the recent years.

Ivaana: I was and am heavily influenced by your Quantum Buddha titled Sunyata and thereby wrote an emotional dialogue with the self. Not everyone understands the double slit experiment or quantum superimposition or duality. However, each one of us in our human lives have or will consciously or unconsciously experienced the Buddhist concept of Sunyata. Please share, how this came about Julian.

Julian: The way I understand the term “sunyata” is closely related to the ‘maya’ above: ultimately there is no reality ‘out there’ – if we look at the bottom of things there is ‘nothing’ of the kind we are accustomed to believing in. I made the first version of “Sunyata” for my father-in-law’s brother, basing it on an old Cambodian Buddha figure George owns.  (that same George Weissman, my father in la, who wrote the paper with me that I sent you)

“With all your science, can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?”   -Henry David Thoreau

 Post this conversation with Julian, I felt transported to a world where I was able to visualize feelings. I believe that there is a great neglect of empathy and a general sense of compassion in the true aesthetic ideologies in art. Julian’s sculptures make me feel reassured that I can touch those elusive feelings and explore all manners of sensory vibrations. He creates an incredible space of immersion where art, life and cosmic truths pervade expressively through an invisibly tangible space that the viewer can easily relate with. His sculptures are eloquent, poetic, sensual at times and deeply rooted in the highest degree of spiritual awareness-promising a transformation that exalts and extends beyond the sculptural imperatives of the present moment. Julian is reinventing the experience of the sublime as he redirects our attention from just the “beauteous forms of things” to creating unprecedented narratives of the cosmos in relation to our “meddling intellect.” I feel I am back to my childhood days where I had a greater facility for the states of being, where perceptions and experiences are vivid and not dulled by familiarity or pre-conceived notions. As novelist Virginia Woolf said in her unpublished autobiographical writing Moments of Being: “I cannot recover, save by fits and starts, the focus, the proportions of the external world. It seems to me that a child must have a curious focus; it sees an air-ball or a shell with extreme distinctness; I shall see the air-balls blue and purple, and the ribs on the shells.” The patterns of thought that were unveiled as I connected with Woolf’s Moments of Being is very similar to how I connect with Julian’s works-its inner harmonics and patterns where I feel centralized amid a design-which ignites memories, emotions and allows me to shape my imagination better.

For more information about Julian Voss Andreae please visit his website:

https://julianvossandreae.com/

For more information about Vassiliki Rapti, please visit her website:

https://www.vassilikirapti.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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