MINIMALISM - as part two
Ponta do Ouro, MOZAMBIQUE 2019
A REFLECTING ESSAY
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy.
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sunrise.
William Blake – Eternity
Minimalism, as ‘hipster’ as you might find it, is just another aspect of living consciously and actively practicing mindfulness. Being aware of what your intentions are and how you’re actually affecting the environment is of concern to the minimalist, along with being aware of the self. Minimalism concerns your needs as a human entity, physically and soulfully. Your DNA is galactic, you are made of this Earth, you share molecular structures with the Earth’s, surely you wouldn’t want to be polluting it and making garbage from it? When you start knowing yourself, you sort of become your own best friend, soon you’ll start to see and understand your patterns, good and bad. You’ll see what you really need to survive and what isn’t necessary at all. Working towards a more minimal approach to your life by implementing some practical steps can help you understand who you are and what your true essence and potential could be. There is vast personal potential behind the false binary of your stuff and its sentimentality but when you hoard things, you hide your beautiful self below all the clutter. You’ll end up buried away beneath material things that mean nothing to you, things that don’t contribute to your overall well-being. My body would never be able to be at peace in my grave if I hadn’t dealt with the good and bad of my life when I had the chance to experience this wonderful world. I’d hate for things to be stuck inside my consciousness (clogging my karma), because I absolutely had to have those new sneakers or the 10 000th thrift-shopped coat, for no real reason beside hoarding. By hoarding, you are competing with the future of your children.
In 2017 I exhibited a photographic piece entitled Heirlooms of the Earth. Here, I had multiple film-negative images of Rorschach-like mirrored self-portraits blown up to A2 which I had hand printed/exposed onto fabriano paper using natural golden daylight - together with cyanotype chemicals. I framed the prints with termite-scarred dead bark, driftwood and rough sharp sticks tied with biodegradable rope. It was a sort of an installation piece, performance art through nature additionally I had a huge log covered with bits and shards of nature - pine cones, moss, shells, splinters, feathers, fungi, vines, herbs, crystals, more mushrooms, dried frogs, stones, weeds etc. Back then I didn’t call myself a minimalist, but I believe that this new lifestyle I’ve grown into stems from this work which I had produced so early in my artistic career. I’m glad this awakening had happened so early in my life so that I can focus my artistry on more important things, as the humanity of art, the truth! Not just some dressed up art, aesthetically pleasing void of dishonesty art - transient art. This exhibition’s work is the earliest traces of my minimalist mindset I can remember. The exhibition was about Identity and The Self. All these things I’ve collected were beautiful and eclectic with sentimental value attached to each item. Yet, these things brought me back to myself, reinforcing a healthier relationship with nature. It was a true celebration of nature through art as these things will return into the Earth as I will. This perception is the real importance of humanity and is forgotten in the age of the instantly-gratified.
I ask of you, my dearest reader, look at yourself in your bedroom mirror and see yourself for your true Self... Then look behind you. Do you find happiness in the things that you’ve collected? Are they really a part of you? Your clothes, your furniture, the things you bought at the half-off sale, makeup, technology, digital media etc. Do these things give you pure happiness? Or are you hoarding poison? You can grow into the best version of your human self. Do consider a more minimal lifestyle but don’t stress if you can’t let go of it all at once. Take it one day at a time, it’s like dealing with an addiction or an illness – give yourself the opportunity and time to heal. It’s all just about being aware. So, wake up!!! Donate some things, organise your belongings, unfollow people on social (the people who are not serving you in the best light, the people who fuel jealousy or hateful self-thoughts), avoid hoarding, negative energy. The worst part of this process is realising that you know the truth about yourself, you have known the truth all along - you know what to change or what you’re actively hiding behind or delaying. Let that shit go!! It all starts with your conscious decision to move forwards or stagnate in the messes you create.