Sanctuary - Notes









At times while walking through our local landscapes a small or partial element will jump out at me. Equate this with a lightning strike out of a bank of rainclouds. Though the energy dissipates the experience remains with us. We can refer to this as a charge. This is what art can to as to impact someone. Without this jolt it becomes simply more information for which we have much already. Conversely, we can take this too far as to pyrotechnics which are either about exploding something or creating spectacles. So, this looks not to intellect nor expressiveness but something between these. 


I became an artist through a deep love and transformative experience with popular music as a young man. Here I wish to honour this gift by working with the same simplicity and spirit these songs hold. They are usually between 2-10 minutes and their ratio of impact to time spent with them is off the charts. Looking for this too with the pieces as they are relatively small. These songs combine lyrics and somewhat basic musical forms and these mirror through the basic images and patterning with breaks like solos. Tradition is respected by these artists for the most part and they simply advance their vocation for which I am in agreement as an approach. 


This is not the grand vista of traditional painting or a statement in our modern art practice but a combination of close observation and an expanded imagining. By stopping to reflect upon this and to work through the image using materials aims at integrating this into our experience. This can be said to of viewing a piece with intent.  


These sanctified environments, even when small, are a salvation. They are a free gift for us to enjoy, take meaning in and fill our inner life with. Not those other human relations and creations cannot but these are universal and eternal along with being found everywhere but in different forms. If we do not have access to the wonders of humanity these are here to sustain us and help us thrive when we are stable in other ways. 


I am very interested in experiences spoken to with words beginning with the 'trans' prefix. The artmaking here works with this towards transitioning us to a new perspective. 


Here are rather simple subjects explored through a combination of hallucinogenic rendering and reasonably accurate drawing. This is intended to challenge both poles of perception towards something closer to the universal and eternal. To choose these basic and natural forms strips us of the crutches cultural references and challenges us to be creative without overreliance on content. Although there is some abstraction and creation of metaphor it also appreciates the real and natural through a form of respect and reverence for small or common elements. 


The artwork is a means for to creatively solve problems specific through the way it was made and the choice of subject. We can apply this to other parts of living as a tool we can use. A simple example would be how we arrange our physical environment or say a new approach to cooking meals. That this all aims towards a creative response to our living. 


There have been pieces here and there through my practice which hinted at this and as others are made in this mold will add them to the collection here. 


Though more effective in person, the digital images can be used to the purposes noted but in a more limited way. I find the smaller pieces have more sizzle here while the larger ones are diminished. 


* Note that I am working on titles and information for the pieces shown







As noted, music plays into the work very much. For this series, REM's earlier work is a strong influence. They seem very respectful of the traditions they come from but wish to expand. They are from a particular place (Georgia) which they acknowledge but attempt to create more universally from it. 


I appreciate Michael Stipe's way of singing as he is patterning to create trance forms rather than using his voice to sing words. The lyrics, especially in mid career, are mostly sound and random phrases you pick up but if you wish to go further you see they are metaphors and images rather than statements. 


Peter Buck's guitar is moving but minimal. He, to me, plays only what is needed to create impact which is subtle. Always refer to the solo in Flowers of Guatamala below. Tears come each time I hear it even decades later. 


There are odd words and turns of phrase along with traditional instruments like banjos. There is a power to this which I can't quite explain (don't really have to, it moves me). 


These are sound-lyric-scapes. There is deptth but it is subtle and they leave you space to let the sound work on your inner life first, then slowiy emotionally. The content is there but below. 


This is a type of model I admire and hope to translate here in my own way through visual work. 















Kelly Leichert

May 12, 2022