Welcome to A Tabernacle in the Wilderness! This show is very special for me as its run coincides with my 60th birthday and my 29th year at Presbyterian College. As a present to myself, my students, and our community, I have invited a number of friends, including former students, some current and former faculty colleagues and a few of my old art department buddies to show with me.
The title of the show refers to the discovery of sanctuary and encounters with the numinous during challenging stages of personal change, growth, and transition. These are often periods of chaos, bereavement, or confusion, when we feel lost or alienated. In the midst of such difficulty, themes and images from dreams and synchronistic encounters can offer a resonant meaning and beauty, a fresh direction or purpose into our lives. For Dante, all revelation started with a discovery of being lost: In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in a dark wood where the direct way was wholly lost. Commedia (The Divine Comedy) by Dante Alighieri
A tabernacle is a tent of meeting, a place for encounter. It is set in a wilderness, not a tame place, an uncivilized space where disorientation and “lost-ness” is common, where survival is optional, where safety is hard to find. These spots of difficulty in life are always potential meeting places. The forest itself is never lost. When we stand still and pay attention, we can let the unfamiliar forest find us in such a way that we may know and be known more truly than before. The world around and the world within are related, but both are strange to the preoccupied ego. Both art and dreams aim to awaken the soul from its obsessive ego driven preoccupations so that we may spend more of our allotted time truly living.
The images in my paintings are not exactly illustrations of dreams as much as re-combinations or visual musings based on compounded dream images. I also explore the dream sense of time and space and the mood or the lighting found in dreams or the visual nature of unusual waking experiences or encounters Jung would call synchronicities in daily life.
If you have the inclination to spend some time meditating on these pictures and are willing to project your own thoughts, and feelings onto them, it is my hope that the experience may serve as a bridge for your own deepening encounter with that numinous power that makes life more profoundly meaningful. I hope you enjoy the show and that these pictures will stimulate something creative and inspirational in your bones.