By Lawrence Sheaff
Here are 4 viewer responses selected
from several dozen reported to the artist
AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK ‘ABSOLUTE IMAGE: THE STRUCTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN VISUAL FORM’, PAGE 76
The following unsolicited viewer responses resulted from a direct interaction with paintings in the Absolute Image Series. They were reported before the artist’s books were published so the viewers had no prior knowledge of the series or access to any discussion about them.
The painting enlivened the experience of a very deep and unbounded level of my own awareness, clear and translucent, and three-dimensional. At that moment I felt as though I had almost three hundred and sixty degree vision. In fifty years as an art lover I have never known a work to transform my consciousness as powerfully as that image did at that moment. It was a very beautiful, unique and memorable experience.
I was immediately drawn to one of the paintings. It seemed to pull me toward it. Then I realised I was physically feeling something, a presence or life force in the work that seemed to reach out and tell me who it was. Nothing like this had ever happened before when I looked at art. Each image created a different feeling, as if the painting itself were strumming various notes or chords of my consciousness. At first I thought it was my imagination, but realised there was no mistake. There was indeed a living vibration or consciousness that each piece was emanating. It was enthralling and I’ll never forget it. It’s been over five years since I saw them, and I can still distinctly remember the unique sensations created by those paintings.
As I turned the corner of the hallway I found myself standing face-to-face with the painting. As my gaze fell upon it, instantly an extraordinary series of things began to happen at lightening speed. The initial sensation was very strong. It was my body that felt the first impact. Immediately following that my attention spontaneously went to the front of my head and followed a fountain of light as it encompassed my entire brain. Then, quite suddenly, the light moved from the head downwards. It settled in my heart and I became aware of a soft white light glowing there. I should emphasise again that all this happened in an instant. Even so, as I have said, in that single moment of viewing the painting, each of the steps I have described were distinctly segmented and clearly perceived. From the moment this beautiful experience started I knew it was a significant healing process that had been triggered by the image. Reflecting on the experience afterwards I remembered that the vision of my right eye had been weakened from an injury in the past. I was sure that some process of deep structural healing to that injury was taking place. It is now over a week since my initial encounter with the painting. The whole process has stabilised and my right eye, which had always been weaker since the injury, is now even stronger than my left.
There were two paintings placed opposite each other at the end of the hallway. I wasn’t looking at the paintings and didn’t have my attention on them at all. As I passed between them I was suddenly energised and felt a wave of happiness. I stopped for a moment, noticed the paintings, and just enjoyed standing there. I walked on, turned the corner, went several paces and stopped again. I suddenly wondered if that experience was really to do with the paintings or had just happened by chance. So, I went back to the paintings and turned around in a circle between them. The same thing again, I felt the same wave of energy. I just felt so light and happy standing between those two paintings.