On a journey through India in search for raw materials of pure, bold color, possessing the intrinsic properties of healing and tactile energy, Aranka Israni returned with two sources of sacred debris pulled from the belly of nature. The first, collected from the streets, was the fine, organic, powder pigments thrown during Holi, the Festival of Colors, celebrating the coming of spring by Hindus. The second, gifted to her by a Jaipur jeweler from the hollows of bags of semi-precious stones delivered to him from the mines, was crushed crystals and gemstones of rose quartz, amethyst, lapis lazuli and others.
These natural powders and pigments are layered on wood or canvas and finally bathed in the most unnatural of substances, epoxy resin. As temperature and gravity war with the materials and express themselves through contraction and pull, the color is literally stimulated to motion until halted by the eventual hardening of the resin. The visual effect is an explosion of vibrant movement, appearing to expand from its own depths, mirroring both the imagery of our physical cosmos, as well as that most intimate, singular, internal human journey as experienced through meditation and alignment with source energy. The apparent contradictions are not hypocrisy, but rather, the echo of the poetic dualities of humankind, inward and outward, life and death, of the physical vs. the non-physical, of nature vs. manmade, of chaos vs. order; of the search for the dark in the light and the light in the dark.
To the artist this series was a consequence of the question “how do I capture the explosive nature of a meditative process” and represents leaving behind expectation and experimentation, having crossed a threshold of maturity in which the creation is birthed through her without conniving toward a particular outcome. “I participate as a conduit - open, supine, non-judgmental. I recognize that it existed prior to my involvement. I recognize that when I walk away from a piece it continues to breath; it continues to stretch and multiply.”
For observers the result is a veritable cosmic Rorschach with as many elucidations as there are viewers, as many possible portals as individuals will allow themselves entry, directed by their histories, emotions and desires. Through the works reflective quality, the viewer’s connection, interaction and interpretation become fundamentally important in the continual state of expansion and redefinition of each piece.