Sunday, May 3, 2009


Does our own image taint the way we see the world? Artist Sarah Smuts Kennedy's work, Manifestation and Revelation (2003) suggests it does.
A picture of large, open, cupped hands are the feature of this work. Placed deliberately behind reflective glass, when you approach the picture your own image is reflected there. It is a reminder that our self image often gets in the way of seeing what actually exists. You are forced by the picture to make an effort to see the hands unimpeded by our own self image.

In the same way our thoughts and opinions often inhibit our view of the world. Objects and people are labelled good or bad, ugly or beautiful, like or dislike. When we see the world only reflected through our opinions we fail to see what just IS. The reality, and its innate beauty of being, obscured.
Looking at the world through our labelling system also leads to a series of emotional ups and downs, and dissatisfaction. If we can stop ourselves from generating a constant stream of opinions, we can see our world as it exists, and live with a sense of general contentment.
Eckhart Tolle has some ideas that help to see how this works. Ultimately our ego, and maintaining our strong sense of self, is behind the need to see the world reflected through our opinions of it (that is, how we relate everything back to us). By overcoming the ego, and gaining control of it, we also gain the ability to see the world as it exists, and find satisfaction .
A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle expands on these concepts. This link takes you to his website.
Sarah will be exhibited at John Paynter Gallery in Newcastle NSW 15th-31st of May 2009. You can find some of Sarah's other work at this link, although I couldn't find the hand picture I mention above, which I had seen on the Sunday Arts program dated 29/03/09.

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