This exhibition is currently showing in the Dunamaise Arts Centre Church Street, Portlaoise until June 20th

Next location for the exhibition

This particular body of work came all started as as a result of a highly mystical experience at the source of the holy river Ganges, high up in the lower Himalyas in India where I spent a month meditating and painting in February 2006. An Indian friend had built a house near Gerwhal in the lower Himalyas and she invited me there for a month in February 2006. She explained much to me historically, culturally and spiritually about Indian life and exposed me to many experiences I could never have had as a European alone.

Following, as I do, the spiritual teachings of the Indo Carribean Guru, Sri Vasudeva, I took that opportunity in Gerwhal, to do some intense meditation and painting. The word OM, from the ancient Sanskrit alphabet, is the sound of the Universe or the Source or God, and reflected my desire to return to that Sacred Space within, through meditation. Again it was the sound of OM and Jaghit Singh chanting Shree ram dhun every morning, as we lit our incense and danced, that inspired me. The landscape, the rituals in Hardiwar, the energy of that part of the world, the smiles of the people, all affected me deeply. When I returned to Ireland, I found my work had changed, I could no longer go back. A certain peace had entered my consciousness and therefore the imagery had altered appropriately.

I returned to India for three months in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Using gold and silver leaf from Old Dehli, these abstract works on paper have resulted in an intensification of earlier considerations, my hunger for transcendence realized through the contemplation of landscape and of the cosmos. But now, to me, they are as much Indian as Irish. In 2008 and 2009 I decided to extend my interest in Indian imagery and go back to making tapestries, which I had studied briefly as a student. India is the country of textile. So I went to the Tasara centre for Creative Weaving in Kerela in South India. It is tropical and very different to N. India. I painted in my studio amongst the coconut palms and worked on designs that fused my sense of the environment and European sensibilities. The heat, fecundity, humidity and abundance of life in the tropics seemed like paradise. Yet as got to know the culture of the Hindu joint family I was living with for three months, I realized there is a very strict code of conduct that is hidden, unlike our open way of life. This is where the title ‘Hidden Paradise’ came from. Echoing the gold in my works on paper and canvas, I used gold thread and silver thread. Janet Pierce 2010

Janet Pierce 2008 ©

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