THE MAYAN SANCTUARY

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THE MAYAN SANCTUARY

pen and watercolour on paper
2013/2014 - 450 x 650 mm

DETAILS :

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WORK IN PROGRESS

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A while ago, I got what I call a caption phrase on the sanctuaries series I create(d): Sanctuaries are charged places where space within space spirals endlessly.
And this one is no exception.

Several months ago I was asked by Dreams and Divinities' Liba Stambollion to participate in an event she was organising with a friend of hers. It would be held in Mexico and would be about balancing the pain and the hurt between the decendants of the conquistadores and Spanish (who often have a deep feeling of guilt) and what is left of the cultures that were as good as erased in search for gold and other richess. I felt - and feel - very attracted by this, so I said yes, and with enthusiasm. My enthusiasm told me that I should give everything and go to the bottom.
It was then that I realised I didn't know much, let alone enough, about the Central-American cultures.

So I started doing some research on the Internet and, unavoidably, bought some books. I not only learned more about the locations where Maya, Aztecs, Olmecs and all the other cultures lived, I also learned a lot about their way of living. In the beginning I admit I was a bit appalled by the cruelty of the sacrifices. Not that I ever cared much whether the sacrificed life was human or other animal, but some of the practices were really cruel, and while I can accept violence, which is natural, I don't like cruelty. But whilst my knowledge increased by browsing through the books I couldn't 'tune in'. I tried some oriented sketching but it just didn't work. It was as if there were either nothing to find except blood and torture, or else that there was such a perfect 'magical' veil drawn over it that I couldn't receive any images. And I absolutely didn't want to create some kind of illustration or puzzlework full of superficial symbols that stand for a theory and nothing more. I realised I was on the wrong road, and that's why my sketches didn't work and everything stayed so boringly superficial.
I complained about this to Olga Spiegel, and she replied she had always seen a lot of Mayan influence in my work. This baffled me even more. But it also gave me the necessary energy to make the jump.

So after five or six different sizes and each drawing begun and put back aside (no need for sketches: I never need them, so why now try to organise instead of letting it grow naturally, mmm?) I finally decided for a work on the same size as the 'Bali' Sanctuary - Sanctuaries II - and go for it.
Whilst working on the left half of the work (see the unfinished wip above) I got a mail from a clairvoyant friend of mine. He wrote me that because of my search for openness towards them, some high-cultured Mayans had decided to help me.
I didn't really wanted help as I wanted it to be my own work. Typical. But the images started to come through, and tuning in became easier. When I realised they loved their lifes and kids just like we do, and that those sacrifices were part of a religion that saw earthly life as temporal, and that indeed some priest had exaggerated the necessary violence, the veil lifted, and I could draw freely.
I am not suggesting I did get 'help'. Not even that I 'believe' in clairvoyancy. Either it was my own block I was able to remove through stubbornness, or indeed I was helped from 'the other side'. Whatever: drawing became as easy as usual. The freeflow was finally there. Same for the colouring. Everything went smoothly.

So all I can say now is that if I got help, I wholeheartedly thank the ones who decided to make the effort to come to my assistance. And I hope that the Mayan people who visit the event will sense what happened and will be able to appreciate my approach of their culture. It was quite an adventure for me, and I am very glad I managed to get it finished in time, so I don't have to send Conquistador, which is ok but is in fact a kind of prequel, or postscript to this work.