FIAT LUX ARTIBUS:
Art as Spiritual Practice
I was inspired to create FIAT LUX ARTIBUS, which is the name of my company, by the marvelous perceptual experiences I enjoy as an artist. FIAT LUX ARTIBUS can mean "Let there be the Light of the Arts" or also "Let there be Light through the Arts". I intend both meanings.
The inspiration for Fiat Lux Artibus came from my inner experience as an artist, and this, I believe, is because the creative and artistic endeavor is profoundly linked to the spiritual. In the Renaissance view, art served as a window of vision to the higher world, the perfection of the divine order of the universe. The still life, for example, when working well, can do this: it uses the ordinary to present the extraordinary; the imperfect to present the perfect; the visible to present the invisible. I often experience and create the still life as it is known traditionally: a spiritual, philosophical and metaphorical genre---but also, as a richly beautiful creative and expressive form. I work experientially, intuitively and aesthetically to create a piece, however, rather than conceptually. In working intuitively, the creation comes from a deeper place within, the contemplative experience of silence, pure feeling and pure experience. The essential nature of the higher world is Perfect Beauty, and this is revealed to us through our enlightened apprehension of the things of this world, in the artistic process. This is the delightful truth of my experience and work in both classical portraiture and still life painting.
It is a privilege to see the world through an artist's eyes: if we are able to see well and truly, we will see that the created world is everywhere exquisitely and outrageously beautiful. These days, Beauty has fallen out of fashion in the art world; it is time to reclaim our understanding, experience and expression of its value.
Gerhard Richter has previously described the contemporary art world as "one vast scene of ...wretchedness [and] nonsense."
However, he says, "But art? Art is sublime."
FIAT LUX ARTIBUS seeks to recover the deeper significance and purpose of art; to reclaim its sublimity, transcendence and beauty as valid and essential foundations to the world of art.
"In this broad earth of ours,
Amid the measureless grossness and the slag,
Enclosed and safe within its central heart,
Nestles the seed perfection."
~ Walt Whitman
FIAT LUX ARTIBUS: "Let there be the Light of the Arts"
The Perfection of Morphogenesis I (unfinished): Nautilus with Shells
Kathryn Dana Halpern Copyright 2001/2015
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." ~Aristotle