Mindfulness, Art & Creativity ( Artist Talk)with Kiranada Sterling Benjamin

Mindfulness, Art & Creativity ( Artist Talk)with Kiranada Sterling Benjamin

from 15.00

April 4, 2019

6:00 PM

Daily we hear of the current ‘mindfulness movement,’ the growing interest in silence, the scientifically proven benefits of a quieter life and of meditation. For over 20 years I have searched the work of psychologists, meditation teachers as well as the writings of fellow artists, thirsty for information on the connections between art and meditation states, that ‘bare attention’ as psychologists call it – even interviewing my own students, to see if my ‘losing self’ experience in art and on the cushion, was also their experience. As a fiber artist, educator, curator, author and renunciant with 35 years of meditation practice, these connections between art and silence weave through my daily life, reinforcing my hope that my interests and research might benefit others. In July of 2014 I flew off to a small hut on a precipice in the New Zealand bush to sit alone, for a year of solitary retreat, carrying few art materials and many questions: with no human contact, no distractions, no daily supports …would I survive, would I go mad, would I create? What would come of this experience, as an artist, under the harsh conditions that I was choosing. I asked, what happens when all is stripped away? What is left?

What I found was the vibrant, enthusiastic, positive qualities that artists use to soar, keeping the creative spirit in place. Even under difficult conditions, we survive riding on that imagination, that creative problem solving, that looking within that bubbles out. With familiar Ahimsa silk in my hands, I stitched silence into it and applied what plant essences I could find. And work did poured forth in surprising ways, through those twelve months, as I explored – “listening with my eyes, watching with my ears.” This is what I hope to share.

Fee: Donation to fund Kiranada’s next Solitary Retreat. ( Suggested Donation $15)

Students from Both Workshops will be admitted for Free

Book Reading: A Year of Silence

Isolation, cold, hunger, elemental winds from Antarctica, ‘whiteouts’, lice, screams in the night. Kiranada Sterling Benjamin went into a year solitary retreat alone in the wilderness of New Zealand and survived - with insights. She labored to put together this story in book form and will read passages from the recently released volume, “A Year of Silence” on Thursday April4th during her Artist Talk , at the Aya Fiber Studio. 

Called a “a life-changing read”, “insightful, clear, honest”, nature observed with “with the tender sensitivity of a visual artist”, books will be available for purchase from the author, and all are welcomed.

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