Art Awakening Humanity Alexander de Cadenet Interviewed By Revd Jonathan Evens – ArtLyst

Posted: July 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm


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Alexander de Cadenets series of bronze and silver sculpturesfeaturing consumables contain a deeper spiritual message. This includes his Life-Burger hamburgersculptures and Creation a large scale shinybronze apple with three bites taken from it two adult bites and baby bite inbetween.Creation explores the mysterious process ofcreativity of how both a human being and an artwork come into existence. Alexstates, In Genesis, we weretold by God not to take a bite from the apple, yetit was by taking a bite that we became self-conscious and self-consciousnessis what is necessary formakingart.

Art is way of exploring what gives life a deeper meaning and evolves in relation to my own life journey Alexander de Cadenet

The Life-Burger sculptures explore therelationship between the spiritual dimension of art and consumerism and, attheir root, are an exploration of whatgives life meaning. Art historian EdwardLucie-Smith has written, The Life-Burgers offer a sharp critique of thesociety we live in and yet simultaneously theyare luxury objects in their ownright.

L.A. art critic Peter Frank takes a similarline when he writes, Were at a moment in modern history where the excesshas gotten staggeringly wretched.Oligarchs worldwide shock us and shamethemselves with their conspicuous consumption a consumption that extends tothe rest of us, as consumed noless thanas consumers. Alexander de Cadenetencapsulates this emerging neo-feudal order in his gilded and multi-deckedburgers. For the mega-rich, theworld is their fast food joint, and theirappetite insatiable. Over 3.6 billion sold!

In October Alex will exhibit Creation and aselection of Life-Burgers at St Stephen Walbrook, where we will also host a conference,organised in partnershipwith Alex and Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine, thatwill explore the relationship between art and the spiritual dimension. Theconference takes wordsspoken by Eckhart Tolle in an interview with Alex asinspiration, True art can play an important part in the awakening ofhumanity.

Alex has said that Being an artist is abouthaving a voice in the world, a pure and authentic voice in a challenging world.It is a way of sharing personalinsights and encounters with the world, ofexploring the mysteries of our existence and our place in the grand scheme. Artis the intersection between theformlessdimension and the world of form; itembodies our connection to nature or the intelligence that is responsible forour existences.

He has recently founded Awakened Artists; aplatform to showcase specially invited artists whose work accesses a deeperspiritual dimension. AwakenedArtists is an international community of visualartists who believe that the production of art is a spiritual act andcontributes towards the evolvingconsciousnessof those that create it and alsothose that experience it. On the back of these initiatives, I wanted tofind out more about his understanding of art as a way of exploring what giveslife a deeper meaning and how thishas evolved in relation to his own lifejourney.

Alexander de cadenet creation

JE: Your recent works playfully critique consumer and celebrityculture while using elements of those cultures to do so. To what extent do yousee yourself as aninsider or an outsider to those cultures?

ADC: I grew up exposed to these values and it hasbeen valuable for me in some ways as a yardstick by which to compare thingsto and also given me insights intothe darker aspects of it.

JE: What we consume and how we do so seem major preoccupations of the LifeBurgers and of Creation. What seems problematic about consumer culture?

ADC: Whats problematic is the desire to consumeand accumulate for the sake of it often to run away from pain or discomfort beauty and pleasure can at somepoint become quite warped and grotesque withoutlimits, where even the original value gets lost or diluted within excess. Ithink its become more and moreprevalent in the world today and its also verymuch part of the art world system too in the way that artworks are commoditizedand their original beauty canget lost in the transformation into statussymbols.

JE: You have been called a playful moralist. What does that phrase meanto you?

ADC: am conscious of my own ambivalentrelationship to morality so hopefully any moralizing is not done withself-righteousness but more as a way to exploreand express the inherentparadoxes and richness of life.

JC: You reference the Genesis creation stories in your Meteoritesculpture series and the Memento Mori tradition with your Life Burgers. Whatinfluence has theBible and Christianity had on your art?

ADC: Yes, I grew up with a close relationship withJesus. I have sometimes referenced stories from the Bible with my artworks overthe years. E.g. The Eye of theNeedle model, 30 Pieces of Silver or morerecently the on-going series of apple sculptures. The Bible is part of auniversal sub-conscious is deeply infusedwith meaning, its a powerful,established language of spiritual symbolism that one can reference tocommunicate and express certain thoughts and feelings.

JE: You performed a singing bowl meditation before photographing your DesertFlower series of photographs. What part does meditation play in your creativeprocess?

ADC: In one sense, my artwork reflects theevolution of my own consciousness and the sorts of statements Id like to sharein the world. Meditation is a process ofconnecting to a deeper dimension ofexistence a way of tuning into the deeper reality of our connection toNature. Sometimes it can get you into aharmonious zone that is reflected in thework you produce while in a meditative state.

JE: You have begun a series of interviews with artists exploring thespiritual dimension in art. What would you say that you have learned from thoseinterviews todate?

ADC: The process of interviewing others can enhanceones own connection to that dimension, it also has a strong social element asense of kindred spirit withthose who are interested in similar aspects oflife.

JE: Have you been surprised by the number of artists for whom thespiritual dimension features strongly in their practice?

ADC: I think the earliest art forms had a reallyfundamental and deeply significant meaning for those that created them. Theearliest cave paintings and bone orstone statuettes were infused with deepmeaning for the societies that made them. It seems that there are a growingnumber of artists and creatives that wishtomake something beyond being justsurface decoration and something that can bring a deeper consciousness orawareness into peoples lives.

JE: You interviewed Eckhart Tolle as part of that series, which was aparticular thrill for you personally. What has impressed you about Tolleswritings and whatstood out for you from the experience of meeting him?

ADC: Despite what he has achieved in the world,having status and success is not what drives him. That is a by-product ofhis work. He certainly does not wantpower over others. He desires to share hisexperience of life, in order for others to become more aware, conscious and to connectto beauty and the joy ofexistence. There was a particular moment when I sawmyself reflected in his eyes and I believe he saw himself reflected in mine. Itis rare to be able to go to aplace of such openness and acceptance like that,especially with an enlightened being and it touched my life.

JE: You will be exhibiting at St Stephen Walbrook in the autumn. Whydo you think a church is an appropriate location to show your work?

ADC: This is a particularly beautiful space and itswonderful to show ones art in this environment. This church also has a richhistory of contemporary art. As thisseries of artworks offers reflection onlife and being, I feel they have an affinity with what the church is all about.

JE: You are planning a conference on art and the spiritual dimensionwith the title Art awakening humanity, a phrase taken from Eckhart Tolle, andhave begun anew grouping of artists called Awakened Artists. In what ways canart awaken humanity and why do you think humanity needsawakening?

ADC: Eckhart also said that The true function ofart is to awaken others and I agree with that. You can invest into an artworka deeper spiritual message that iswhat the artists in the Awakened Artists groupwish to achieve. Yes, there are a lot of problems at the moment in our societywith deeply ingrained ignorantand even dangerous viewpoints that can causesuffering and harm to the planet and its occupants. As an artist, you have avoice to talk about the things thatmatter to you a chance to have your say. Drawingthings to peoples attention or offering insights can be helpful in combattingthese behaviours.

JE: What do you hope the Awakened Artists group can achieve?

ADC: Id like that it is a platform to bringtogether artists who would like to contribute to a shared vision of art assomething that brings awareness and a deeperconsciousness into those thatexperience it.

JE: How can art offer access to a deeper dimension of existence andcontribute towards the evolution of consciousness?

ADC: Either experientially like for example encounteringthe phenomenon of a James Turrell light installation or by offering insightsinto the issues we face todayin such a way that genuinely moves people.

JE: Tell me a little about the work of David C. Greene, the firstmember of Awakened Artists. What is there about his work that fits the brieffor this new group?

ADC: I find Davids work exceptionally authentic.I dont know of any artist on the planet today who focuses on the beauty of thedesert landscape at night and thephenomena that can be encountered there. Isee his work is part of the heritage and tradition of Edward Hopper meets a bitof Georgia OKeeffe its abouthispersonal life but has a deep connection tothe beauty of nature. David Greenes night time landscapes absorb you you gettransported there and cannotremain unaffected by the experience. LikeEckharts photos, his landscapes open our eyes to what is already there.

JE: The desert features in your work and that of David C. Greene. Whatpart does the desert play in your spirituality?

ADC: One of my favourite lines in Eckharts The Power of Now reads: Presence isneeded to become aware of the beauty, the majesty, the sacredness of nature.Have you ever gazed up into the infinity of space on a clear night, awestruckby the absolute stillness and inconceivable vastness of it? This says a lot tomeand ifa piece of art can give a sense of this or be a signpost to look inthis direction, I believe it has a great value to humanity, not just for peopletoday but Ithink also for future generations.

Words By Revd Jonathan Evens Priest-in-charge St Stephen Walbrook London

Creations by Alexander de Cadenet, St Stephen Walbrook from 3 Octoberuntil 3 November 2017.

Art Awakening Humanity, 25 October, St Stephen Walbrook https://ssw.churchsuite.co.uk/events/standzg2.

Awakened Artists https://www.awakenedartists.com/.

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Art Awakening Humanity Alexander de Cadenet Interviewed By Revd Jonathan Evens - ArtLyst

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July 30th, 2017 at 2:29 pm