Nicholas Hales

    1 August - 1September 2007

      Adytum: A secret chamber or place of retirement
      in the ancient temples, the most sacred spot;
      the innermost sanctuary or shrine, from this place
      the oracles were given.

    This body of work investigates the Self. It looks at the process of looking into oneself. It examines the meditative and contemplative modality as a vehicle to access the self, drawing on contemporary South African urban imagery as metaphors. The works look at the difficult process of trying to still the mind and create an inner space free of the endless distractions, noise, confusion, anxiety and addiction to excitement of contemporary urban life. It investigates an alternative paradigm than to one fixated on the external.

    The work utilizes the house (building) as a metaphor for self (Jungian dream analysis). As starting points for the work, the artist drew on the houses and buildings (walls, windows, doors and tiled sections of shop fronts) around his studio in Woodstock, Cape Town. The work draws parallels between the mind ruled by the personal self (ego), beset with desires, anxieties, hurts and jealousies and the seeming chaos of contemporary urban life in South Africa. It questions what occurs when the mind is stilled and stops interpreting the world and rests. The work draws on Transpersonal Psychology theory and examines the possibly of an individual consciousness (soul) and this individual consciousness being part of a larger whole. The work also looks at what occurs in the psychology of the individual in a meditative state and how, with the stilling of the mind, painful, suppressed memories begin to surface, therefore the work is also concerned with personal liberation. Of bringing what is hidden and suppressed into one's awareness (light).

    Looking In No. 5, 2006. Oil, wax, enamel, wood, metal and glass. 168 X 135.5 cm