Charles Riley Art

Rosetta stone of communication Essence A map to a flexible, open ended language.

1.5x40x45 in ~ Mixed Media, Other


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The artwork was a long process that had impetus when I took communication courses at Columbia University. During the same period, I met a refuge from Communist China, Da Liu, who taught me Tai Chi and meditation, which I still practice and teach. More recently, I read the four volumes of Taoist Classics collected and translated by Thomas Cleary. The artwork is a distillation of these experiences. The artwork is a map to a flexible, open ended language. Extensible to accommodate the development of human awareness by means of a meditation on communication and consciousness. Taoist philosophy uses symbols like the golden elixir for the development of states of consciousness. In correspondence with this use of symbols, I wrote a story. To complement the story, I developed pictographs in the tradition of the development of written language. The pictographs were done first in black and white oil pastel on card stock and then color. The card stock was coated and imbedded on canvas with acrylic gel. Acrylic color was applied to areas of the canvas surrounding the card stock. The colors were amorphous and flowing to enhance the connection that flows between written words, pictographs, and the unconscious reality or sea of unknowing which connects all things. The story reads as indicated on cards: Two fly east through clouds and disruptive currents. Two sail with intent. Shipwreck, many souls are lost. Eaten by demons, they take the golden ship to heaven. Intent is transformed into the golden elixir of real knowledge & conscious knowledge in harmony. Creative Spirit is discerned in a survivor. The heart center is opened to reveal the connectedness of all things. Sea demons are tamed and expelled from consciousness. Reality of creative energy is revealed in the return to the primordial source. Birds fly over the Western Mountains in exultation of the triumph of sensitivity and resilient intent.

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