Repetition and the devotional object

Mitchell, J 2007, Repetition and the devotional object, Masters by Research, Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Title Repetition and the devotional object
Author(s) Mitchell, J
Year 2007
Abstract These works are an invitation to be present, contemplative, and engage, in the moment. I’m interested in the notion of art being accessible, open and inclusive a possible expression of where one is going rather than where one has been, a breaking with the past, and a chance to explore the unknown, in the present.

In an increasingly cerebral world to feel, is almost a luxury and often times an unwelcome one so it seems that a conflict arises between the mind and the heart and this quality of equanimity, becomes increasingly important in life and art. To me the works have been a success if the viewer leaves having genuinely paused in some way, and engaged perhaps stood in an empty space and wondered what was there, taken the time, and perhaps is aware of that sensation of being present.

Using the whole space is also important in creating a sense of being immersed, having the works situated at various heights around the room the viewer is lead to bend and engage physically to explore in a more intimate way, also using the light or lack of it to reflect stillness, in the silence of the space.

Looking close enough to reveal continuity, in the making, a strength and delicacy of production, and a fragility, that if tampered with would instantly change shape and fall apart, then revealing the impermanence, and illusion that placement provides. Also with the works at various heights around the room it provides a rhythm and continuity of practice, revealing the relationship that each piece has individually to the space and collectively to each other.

In doing these repetitive tasks the works grew, in an attempt to explore one-pointedness and consciously bring the meditative process to life through the making of the objects was for me, offering a pathway.

In using the Pali names, I was looking to connect the simple English names to the story that language reveals in its purity, Pali being the language before Sanskrit and used in the time of Buddha. I was very pleased to find such relevance and beauty reflected in the basic interpretations such as in ‘Guna’ meaning a string or cord, my research involved searching through and looking for the Pali equivalent in language to reveal the story of the works in a meditative sense.

Yathabhuta which means’ as it is ‘which to me embodies the acceptance, of the way things are at any given moment and in that moment provides an opening. ‘Guna’ also meaning a strand of rope, a constituent part of anything, it later came to mean a quality of something, a good quality and later again, ‘you’. This makes it possible to date different texts when the word comes up repeatedly in various sutras This also leads me to indigenous Australian Aboriginal culture and the importance of string in ceremony and dally life.
The notion of continuous thread, works in progress and ordinary daily life.

Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) Art
Pali names
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Created: Tue, 21 Jun 2016, 15:12:43 EST by Denise Paciocco
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