When you think of the artistic process, you might think of sketching, or creating mood boards, or simply putting paint to canvas. But it’s also the philosophy, feelings and even introspection behind it. Developing a process is a process in itself. Our artist member, both indigenous and European descent, April Bodiam, shares what’s behind the expression of her visual art.
“The artistic or creative process is a fluid and unencumbered action. It is quite hard to define exactly what comes first, whether it be the inspiration or the idea. I would imagine all artists have their own unique process. It is hard for me to really think of it as a process; rather, it’s a deep yearning to express oneself authentically.
It has taken me years to come to the point of where I am with my art. I went through deep spiritual exploration to understand myself, the world around me and something unseen: many would call it another dimension, a portal into another realm. I would call it spirit. As a young person, I experienced seeing spirits or mediumship. I do believe that this, along with the natural world of plants and animals, music and physical movement all combine to form my ‘process.’ When I paint, inspiration comes as I flow with the moment. There is extraordinarily little planning involved, aside from materials.
Art has many forms: painting, music, dance etc. I find that I express myself in all these ways. However, in the focus of visual arts, I create mixed media abstract paintings. They are fluid and allow me to tap into a space that is transcendental, beyond time, space and reality, often coming in and out of a trance state. It is as if I am the watcher, watching the painting come to life. I enjoy this process and often feel ‘spirit’ is talking through me. I am currently working on an abstract piece that seems to reveal itself to me through visions. In addition to painting, I am continuing to work on indigenous flute and drum music, and dreamcatchers in part, through the Four Colours Drum Circle that drums weekly at the gallery.
I did not always express myself so easily. There were many years that I did not paint, and I remember a voice inside edging me forward to paint. One of my favorite quotations is by Vincent Van Gogh and it’s one I relate to: “If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” I am profoundly grateful that I let go of the self-doubt and just started painting. I believe we all have creativity inside of us, we are all creative beings. Whatever form of expression that resonates with you, it is never too late to start. Just start!”
You can see April's piece titled 06.22.2022 alongside a wide variety of other non-representational works in our first solely abstract show: Untitled Reality- A Journey With Abstract Art. View it in our 3D gallery or visit in person until August 27th.