India Travel Art Cards

India was my first overseas travel experience.  I had no reason to go other than a feeling that I needed to.  I was a little brave, a little stupid and a lot scared.  Coming from a country whose history is less than 150 years old, I was overwhelmed by India’s rich cultural heritage and greatly disturbed by the threat of its loss by pollution, vandalism, neglect...  The goal of this project was to enhance awareness of these threats by bringing the destruction caused by them to the foreground.

Although I didn’t know anything about Yoga or Ashrams before going to India, by circumstance I ended up staying at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashram in Neyyar Dam, Kerala.  What started as a two week stay ended up being a two year karma yogi (volunteer) commitment.  This experience has been life-changing and I have been practicing Yoga ever since. 

When Swami Govindananda saw the Ganesh image below he was sure that I had created it during my stay at the Ashram, and he was surprised when I told him otherwise.  He remarked that the gestural movements, the scratching at the surface of the image to reveal the light underneath is what the spiritual journey is all about.  At that moment, I understood the thread that linked all of my artworks.  Stripping the body of name, skin, color, race... of all individuality... to explore the inside...   I was finally aware that my artwork was propelling me deeper into the spiritual life.   To become aware of consciousness itself is the reason why I needed to come to India, and it marked the true beginning of my spiritual journey, one of consciousness.

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Creating my own postcards while traveling in India 1999