Vortex Series: Artist's Statement

One night, before going to sleep, my son asked his girlfriend over the telephone: "What if time is a sphere?" The question made me wonder: what if time expands and contracts? What if every dream is a lifetime, even though it is merely a fragment of a second? What if time and space are one? What does it look like when a soul rises? What is eternity?

I can picture the sphere of time only as a ball of soft yarn, with its thread slowly unraveling along the ground in the here and now, then drifting up into endless space. I follow the line, zooming, circling, unwinding, floating in and around the universe in overlapping patterns until it is so distant that it appears as a tiny dot, brilliant, sparkling. The line never disappears. It enters a night sky that turns from black to white with the radiant glow of billions of stars. Beneath the sky, you feel the mystery and power of an invisible force.

That thread, that line, gave me a language with which to explore the energy which is all around us and in our core, in a vortex series. A vortex is a place on earth acknowledged to be a pocket of concentrated energy, a whirl of cosmic matter around a center, akin to the energy of the stars, to the life flow in each of us.

My work begins with the twisting energy, like a stretched infinity symbol, of a figure eight, or the swirls of a DNA helix, a mapping of our fundamental matter. The line on paper becomes dense and dark, or it opens up and dances. Sometimes it is fine, separate, flowing; at other times it is angular and sharp, or indistinct, thick, smeared, covered over. The power, the intensity of this compressed energy become focused into lines of crisscrossing swirls and dots and arcs. It is a line of the life force.

Whether my subject is a face or a leaf, a flower or an unseen dynamic, I feel that somehow, it is all the same. The surface is only the beginning. I am painting a portrait of the energy beneath the surface. And what emerges, on paper or on canvas, is essence, the life that is eternally in the soul.

Karen

Collidge