"From Earth to the Universe" IYA 2009 and Organiverse

Posted by Kitara Julian On 4:56 PM
In each atom of the realms of the Universe,
There exists vast oceans of world systems.
” Great Flower Ornament

After a fortnight of quiet on the blog front and a replenishing sunny visit to Mexico, Natasha and I were happy to see the universe is still unfolding as it should - - - a new year, Year of the Ox, has begun and new era at the headquarters of our Southern neighbours.
Speaking of the Universe, Sunday, February 1st heralds the opening of a special exhibit here in Victoria as part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. One of the cornerstone projects of IYA 2009 is “From Earth to the Universe”, an exhibit of breathtaking images of the cosmos http://astronomy2009.org.
It takes place at The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria and also Victoria International Airport.
What’s makes us all the more curious and interested in this event is we’re not only onlookers, but participants since my work “Organiverse” will be included in the exhibit. This is my major opus of 100 spheres all done in pointillism, dot by dot.
It all began in Morocco back in 1972, in Essaouria. Already at that time I embarked on minimalism in my work, simplifying and practising “small is beautiful” with an ecological approach to art.
A close friend and mentor suggested (knowing I had the time, patience and experience), that I explore doing some work in pointillism. He didn’t suggested at all what to do, but simply ‘pointed’ (ho-ho) to the technique. Thus it all began.
I used a small-format, size-wise: a sphere or mandala the size of the palm of your hand, 8 ½ cm in diameter.
While in Morocco we experienced some fierce winds from the desert. Blowing Harmattan winds and sandstorms created havoc with my work, so we shifted base to the verdant slopes of sunny Madeira.
Organiverse was painted on 25 folios each with 4 spheres. As mentioned earlier I’d been working with the concept of “small is beautiful” and thus this series gave me an opportunity to put it fully into practice.
Pointillism requires the skills of concentration, keen awareness, patience, a steady hand and sharp eye. Organiverse is also a study in colour, but more on that later.
Once the concept of the complete series was born, all I needed then was to fit the work into an evolution with a beginning and ending – Alpha and Omega. For the sake of discipline and guidance, I had to know when to “reach” Omega, hence the figure of 100.
All the imagery within each sphere is created spontaneously without a sketch. Dot by dot, atom by atom.
My philosophy is that visual art is silent communication, but because so many people have asked numerous questions about the origin and history of Organiverse, I’ll write a bit more about it in the next post. Signing off for now, Henri

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