But the drawings are not just about bodies, but about spirit, too. My artwork is an effort to hold the opposites of body and spirit in a dynamic balance. In the drawings, the bodies yearn to become spirit, but at the same time the spirit is firmly grounded in the body. This is the challenge we all face as human beings: of keeping these two aspects of our nature in balance.
The way that the bodies interact in these drawings reveal the underlying emotional and spiritual relationships: between father and son, husband and wife, a man and his work It is oftentimes difficult for us to find the words that precisely express our feelings about our most intimate relationships, our attitudes about work or career, and our concerns for our children and the world they'll inherit. These drawings are a way for me to give form to these feelings and, hopefully, they'll strike a chord with others.
On a design level, the drawings are like puzzles in the way that one form fits with another form. For example, in one drawing, the curvature of the father's leg blends with the curvature of his son's back. In another drawing, the dancers' bodies mesh seamlessly together. This physical connection is a metaphor for an emotional and a spiritual one.
On another level, the work is about pictorial relationships: between figure and ground, curves and straight lines, dark and light areas, movement and stillness. Movement, in particular, is a major concern in these drawings. The cyclical format of many of these drawings contributes to way we "move" through them. In "Father and Son Reunited," for example the movement is like gentle eddies of water, while in "Welcome" the movement is like a pinwheel spinning. The movement, as much as the pictorial content, helps create the mood and the energy.
By focusing on the movement aspect, the drawings become contemplative mandalas that can be experienced for their cyclical geometry. As do traditional Oriental mandalas, these mandala drawings can help us focus our energy and hold the body and the spirit in a dynamic balance.
Lloyd (Grey) Held
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