Take A Journey with Artist Clarice Vaz. And Awake.

Awakening To The Cosmos Within

by Perin Ilavia

Take A Journey with Artist Clarice Vaz. And Awake.

 

“While painting, I always listen to my heart. I do not follow any art rules but like to explore unknown areas of creativity, for it is only here that I believe I can be truly original! In complete silence, I am able to instinctively gather colours to form a pattern I have in mind. It’s so surreal.” Thus speaks Clarice Vaz about her exhibition of paintings titled ‘Awakening to the Cosmos Within,’ previewing at Gallery Gitanjali on 1st August.

Abstract art is not about what you look at, it’s about what you feel, and Clarice’s 37 abstract paintings lead you through her journey from grief to turning inwards in search of  meaning and discovering the source of joy and hope that lies within us. The fountain of divinity dwells in our being. We are an inseparable part of the cosmos. We need to pierce the veil of illusions and life’s dramas, have the courage to go within and reach this deeper space of ultimate reality. “This to me is awakening. I wait for my painting to emerge with an excitement of a child!” she says. “It has become a form of meditation too, as it keeps me in the present moment.”

Before marriage, she worked as a nurse, and then made a conscious decision to be a full time mother to her boys, while living in Muscat. After the boys left for further studies, she got back to her childhood hobby, which was painting. She now lives in Saligao village in Goa. Clarice is the village nurse. She makes house calls when needed, and is actively involved with church activities.

Her first exhibition was a group show in 2014. She recalls that when the paintings were sold she was relieved to know that she had generated enough money to clean up the village cemetery, which was overgrown with weeds. The Gitanjali show is her second solo exhibition. Clarice uses acrylic gel, inks and paints. She feels abstraction gives scope to express her innermost thoughts and feelings. She visualizes colours dancing on the canvas and is filled with a creative energy, and says it’s a great feeling to see an image emerge from the chaotic fluid flow.

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Clarice admires the work of artist Mark Chadwick, Damien Hirst’s spin paintings, and Jackson Pollock’s drip method. At their essence, her paintings do indeed tell us that the cosmos lies within everyone. The journey begins when we have the courage to go from darkness to light, piercing the illusions of life and finding our divinity. This happened for her, when she had to deal with the passing of Craig, her teenage son. This exhibition is a tribute to him.

As you view each work, the colours, lines and textures create an image different from the illusion of reality. The aesthetically pleasing works catch the viewer’s attention through the blend of colours dancing in tune with the light within, touching spaces and vistas not visited before. Each work reflects an exploration that needs its own space, wafting into multi-layered meaning. One can become aware that life is a mythic and magical mystery. Awakening to this mystery is what her exhibition is all about.

Her strokes float unanchored in fragmented thoughts of motifs, as she explores her individual journey, the complexities of life between hallucination and reality, between memory and the ‘now’.

Being a full time mother, housewife, part-time nurse and artist gives her very little time to do anything else. She reads books on spirituality and metaphysics, and affirms she is a firm believer in destiny.

“I believe that everything happens for our highest good in the bigger picture of life. My own adversity isn’t my weakness … it has become my strength! We need to learn to accept and live from our spirit which is a vehicle for our soul. Our inner most core is divinity itself. Being a painter is the very thread that weaves the fabric of my life now.”

There are very few artists in Goa who work only in abstracts. Where does she see herself on the art scene in a few years from now? “I just aim to get better than before. I want to be free, following no rules. If people like what I create, then that to me is Art,” she affirms.

Clarice Vaz’s exhibition of paintings ‘Awakening to the Cosmos Within’ is on view till 10th  August, at Gallery Gitanjali, Fontainhas, Panjim

 

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