Unless You Know Another Way

1 March 2020

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Title: Unless You Know Another Way.
Specifications: 42 x 30.7 inches. Gouache, mixed media, gold leaf, on paper laid on canvas.
Frame: Solid Sungkai wood, silver leaf, bur­gundy color fabric American space, 49,2 x 41 x 3,2 inches.
Year: 2020.
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An introduction. By Richard Horstman.

Jean-Philippe Haure is fas­ci­nated with the multi-dimen­sional aspects of the human expe­ri­ence. His long-term encounter with Bali has led him upon a dis­tinct journey of inves­ti­ga­tion of the inner and outer layers of his psyche. For the bold, such a pur­suit may reveal and deci­pher the mys­teries of exis­tence.

Five young Balinese women are the stars of ‘Unless you know another way’ Haure’s land­mark pic­ture com­pleted in March 2020. Technically, this work has evolved through the artist’s con­ven­tional method­ology, upon this occa­sion, how­ever, some­thing of more con­sid­er­able sig­nif­i­cance and beauty has man­i­fested.

Dominated by colours blue, green, red­dish-pink, bronze, gold and white, from a dis­tance the com­po­si­tion appears as a milieu of non-descript abstract forms, upon closer inspec­tion, how­ever, much more is revealed. The beau­tiful young women, dressed in tra­di­tional Balinese attire, provide the anchor and pathway into under­standing the depth of this extraor­di­nary work.

"The eyes are the window to the soul", William Shakespeare’s eternal mantra is an essen­tial idiom allowing fur­ther insight. For it is mys­tery within the eyes, the direct gaze of the woman in the far left of the pic­ture, that is the entry point to unlocking the meaning within Haure’s omnipo­tent mind­scape. Reaching out grace­fully on an inti­mate level, Haure cap­tures her without pre­ten­sion and aligned in the purity of the moment. The life­force within her gaze ini­ti­ates the con­nec­tion between the seem­ingly inan­i­mate pic­ture, and the audi­ence. One of the most com­pelling aspects of ‘Unless you know another way’, her beguiling pres­ence begins our dia­logue with the painting, which unites us with the infinite.

The mys­tery of Bali ignites within us some­thing dis­tinct and rec­og­niz­able through our emo­tions and feel­ings. For most, how­ever, this expe­ri­ence is dif­fi­cult describe. Rich in cul­ture and ritual where animism, ancestor and nature spirit wor­ship com­bines with a blend of Hinduism and Buddhism, in Bali the veil between the vis­ible and invis­ible worlds is extremely subtle. According to the Balinese belief system Sekala Niskala, two pow­erful aspects com­prise all aspects of life, that of the seen and the unseen realms.

The woman is depicted encir­cled by spheres which appear like a con­stel­la­tion of planets floating within a majestic sea of cosmic blue. Their size har­mo­nizes with the shape of her eyes and forms a potent cor­re­la­tion which is imme­di­ately cap­ti­vating and trig­gers the ques­tion; is she peering beyond the phys­ical form, and into the depths of our soul?

“What I bring to life in ‘Unless you know another way’,” explains Haure, “exits out­side of, and beyond the painting itself.”

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  J-Philippe, Bali Paintings Unless You Know (...)

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