100 prayer mats for gaia bärbel ullrich  
Artist's Statement

Each prayer mat is consecutively numbered and dated on the back at the commencement of the work. The project started in 1998 and was completed 2000.

The execution of these works was a personal journey and ritual where the process created a space for contemplation and reflection – on my connection with the land and my role as an artist in this moment of history.
The work consolidates my previous ideas about the land and human intervention and interaction, including notions of time, growth, decay and the elements.

A particular reference is made to the Australian bush and my sense of space and place. I wish to depict a view of nature or ‘landscape’ which is not confined to the anthropomorphic viewpoint of the single point perspective but of multiple fragments, memories and experience.
The use of symbolism is drawn from both Eastern and Western cultures including alchemical and astrological signs and archetypal symbols. The imagery shifts from the particular to the universal and is presented in the form of fragments and layers.

The use of the Roman arch is a structural device to unite the images and is symbolic of the classical age where science and metaphysics were not separated into the logical and illogical realms of knowledge and thinking. It can also symbolise a doorway or entrance, a keyhole to an alternate perspective or different reality.

The matrix of nature, the feminine principle is juxtaposed with the architecture of man, the masculine principle, where the mathematical plans of the great churches of Medieval and Renaissance times are layered into the imagery. This also references Western religion and the spiritual which are complementary but at the same time paradoxically opposed.

The notion of Gaia is intriguing as it begins to fuse scientific empiricism and positivism with mythology and mysticism. It is a new way of looking at humans and their relationship to the land and nature on a global perspective. The earth, as seen from space, becomes a significant symbol or mandala in my work. It signifies the unity of existence on this planet and the balance of chaos and order. The prayers mats are a devotion to the Goddess, to the earth and to our spiritual dependence on the earth.

 

a selection of the series of 100 mixed media works on canvas 80cm X 50cm
 
all works are for sale and reasonably priced
please contact the artist – barbel@barbelullrich.com.au