Thursday, September 16, 2010

Featured Artist: Kiranada Sterling Benjamin

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Kiranada Sterling Benjamin from Kingston, NH.

Jewel Mountain I

About the pieces: Jewel Mountain I and II are abstract images done in rozome, Japanese wax resist on silk with sanseisenryo dyes, gold and pigment silk screen text. The pieces were created in Bali during my winter studio retreat and while reading references in the Sutra of Gold LIght, to Shambala or Pure Land where mountains are made of gold and trees are festooned with jewels. In creating these small paintings, I worked with simplification, symbol and shaded dying to create three small pieces in different color ways, with the added texture of a silk screened Buddhist mantra which plays across the surface wishing good health and happiness.

The two pieces here are presented as shikishi, mounted on archival board as small hanging scrolls. They could also be mounted and framed under glass if one wished a western presentation. After 18 years of study in Japan, I often present my work as scroll size images as well as larger panels and folding screens, however, I occassionally delight in doing this 'small art' as well, playing with color, line, shading and pattern in the resist process of rozome that I have written about in 'The World of Rozome: Wax Resist Textiles of Japan.'

Jewel Mountain II

Artist Statement: Flowing dye on thirsty cloth and the waxy barrier of Japanese rozome batik have defined my work for 35 years. Two decades of life in Asia have changed and refined my vision. My work celebrates color, pattern, mark-making and the touching of an ineffable source. I have a strong desire for solitary reflection, but also, a desire to share the joys of discovery and my rich artistic life with others through exhibiting and teaching. With a curious mind that loves research, I delight in delving into historic textile research as well as in daily Buddhist studies.

My return to the USA, from Japan in 2000, brought me to a clear decision to follow a path that combined art, beauty and spiritual direction. creating cloths of healing for the seven continents, working on scroll painting as meditation and watching my own flowing wax brush as I relinquish 'self.' I work with resist fiber techniques, doing my work with mindfulness, with respect for the environment and all living things, .......while celebrating transcendence.

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