• Illuminated Brush Strokes – Pamela A. Popeson

    Date posted: June 18, 2006 Author: jolanta

    Illuminated Brush Strokes

    Pamela A. Popeson

    Sky Pape, Thesis, 2003. Sumi Ink on Kozo paper, 72.5�x48�.
    Sky Pape, Thesis, 2003. Sumi Ink on Kozo paper, 72.5�x48�.

    You know
    the feeling you get standing under a star-studded night sky where all at once
    you’re struck by the overwhelming enormity of life and the unsubstantial
    fragility of your own puny existence? Where you want to weep at the
    inconceivable beauty of life? Well, that is the feeling you get standing in a
    room surrounded by artist Sky Pape’s new works on paper at the June Kelly
    Gallery.

     

    In the
    exhibit entitled “Behind the Seen: Saturated Ink Drawings”, there are ten
    larger mounted pieces and a number of smaller drawings and you want to take in
    everything these pictures have to give. It’s inspiring and illuminating and
    then somehow everything turns and you’re the vulnerable one. Besides the
    universal truths, there are personal truths being revealed and they are not
    just Pape’s: they are yours, too.

     

    While her
    past work has often reflected an Eastern sensibility, for these new drawings
    she uses Japanese hake brushes, that are from five to seven inches across, to
    saturate sheets of kozo paper with sumi ink. “By going into the paper, behind
    and underneath the surface, the drawing gains a unique kind of
    physicality—seeking out what lies beyond the surface appearances…” states Pape
    when speaking about the effects of her ink saturation technique. Through a
    series of sweeping brush strokes that show both meditative restraint and
    flights of freedom, Pape creates abstract patterns that evoke an intensely
    personal sense of the knowing and understanding of the universal, spiritual
    landscape.

     

    When an
    artist seeks to uncover truths, designedly spiritual or not, there’s always the
    danger of exposing dogmatic doctrine and contrived schemes of religiosity
    instead. There is no need to worry about that here. Pape reveals a purity of
    vision through an honest exploration of personal truths. There’s no preaching
    of prepackaged utopian paths, just pure art speaking from soul to soul.

     

    The two
    largest pieces in the show Thesis and Antithesis, which face each other from a distance across the gallery
    as if from across time, share a rhythm and balance that draw the viewer into
    their centers. They bring to mind the sublime movement of martial arts masters
    of the highest order. In “Insight”, a construction of several smaller adjoined
    panels, the patterns created by the brushwork suggests Paleozoic ammonites,
    evoking all the mysteries of nature inherent in those ancient forms. In another
    drawing, Guru”, one can hear the visionary voices of some half destroyed stone
    Buddha from the jungle of Angor Wat whispering secrets through Pape’s great
    lines the way the sun sends light filtering through the leaves of a great tree or
    the slats of venetian blinds.

     

    In what is
    considered by many a time of spiritual bankruptcy, the visionary Pape fills the
    coffers and throws open the doors to the vaults on pure art that speaks honest
    truths. And she does it brilliantly.

     

    The
    exhibit “Behind the Seen: Saturated Ink Drawings” ran from December 12 through
    January 13th 2004 at the June Kelly Gallery:
    href="http://www.junekellygallery.com/">www.junekellygallery.com.
    Visit www.skypape.com
    name="_Hlt62884890"> for more information about the artist and
    her work.

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