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Art: Thoughts On The Mind and Research

Tuesday 17 October 2023

I’m interested in looking at research, knowledge, collecting facts and ideas (the accumulation of information by the mind) as ‘conditioning’, and looking at what its opposite is: ‘de-conditioning’ of the mind (almost like clearing out the computer).

I’m very interested in approaching dualism from a more Eastern philosophical viewpoint, particularly the idea of ‘No Mind’ in Zen Buddhism as the antithesis to Mind. I want to explore how painting might be viewed from this antithetical standpoint to the mind, which poses some problems in relation to research (a very ‘mental' activity) in art.

I’d love to further explore the concept of no-mind, but importantly from a perspective that’s not traditionally research-driven / through the mind. This kind of thing escapes being described by language, but what I’m talking about is the process of becoming aware of one’s own mind, watching it, and observing the activity of the mind from a place of neutrality / no mind.

I’m thinking about creating art from a place beyond the mind, not in a kind of transcendent ‘enlightenment’ type way because I think there’s also problems with that, but recognising one’s own mind as a thing that one has (not that one is) and seeing that artistic creation is limited by the mind through all sorts of conditioning (i.e. addiction to achievement, fears around failure, creating art as a way to be seen/loved) - which can be observed, understood, and resolved, by means of self-awareness and internal work.

I’d be interested in exploring how de-conditioning the mind of it’s inherited ’stuff’ can be done through meditation / therapy / self-awareness (in the sense of doing internal work / observing one’s mind and behaviours), and how this has an impact on the artwork created. I guess this is like internal, as opposed to external, research. I have spent many years observing / watching / healing my own mind, and journalling the progress, so this to me is an important parallel to how my artwork develops.


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