The Method, the Myth and the Meta-Normal
“The true poet has no choice of material. The material plainly chooses him, not he it”
There exists a starting paradox when writing about painting and visual representational art, as it lives as an experience or a work in itself. This is due to image or visual work being formed by a particular treatment or method. When I use the term method I am referring to how paint or the material in an art work is used to form an image, concept or idea. In this paper I want to argue why and how visual art can be discussed and meaning opened up through a relation between modes of understanding of the beyond normal (meta normal).
The term meta-normal is used widely by writer Michael Murphy whose work I will use to help express how art through its experiential sensation, and representation can be a part of ‘ the farther reaches of human nature’ (Cooper, 1998 p. 83). My argument will consider art in terms of the meta-normal and how this can form an insight to creative potentials. (Cooper, 1998). Murphy uses the term meta-normal to describe human feats and experience that transcend normal interpretation; from religious experience to medical marvels and amazing sporting accomplishments. In a similar way to artist Joseph Beuys, Murphy has been inspired by the way Rudolf Steiner relates the spiritual and the scientific in his work on the development of human potential Murphy’s research and fictional writings deal with the understanding of the extraordinary and the largely unrealised capacities within human nature. (Cooper, 1998 p. 83)
Through his work, Murphy is searching for a form to analyse the notion of the meta- normal and what that means for human development. It is this issue of how to analyse or critique art that Simon O’Sullivan deals with in his essay, Writing on art, the Buddhist Puja. (O’Sullivan, 2001). Both thinkers are finding forms or modes of understanding for almost non dualistic ideas. O’Sullivan acknowledges Derrida’s, The Truth in Painting, and his notion that in the attempt to write and understand art, ‘the object frustrates that very desire’, saying, ‘Art outruns any discourse on it’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p. 115). However, what O’Sullivan is attempting to do is discuss a way of writing about art (especially the visual) that runs alongside the work itself. (O’Sullivan, 2001) ‘a discourse that parallels in some way the work of the art object. A kind of writing or intervention which does not reduce or seek to limit the art experience, but rather opens it up to further adventures’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p.115).
Simon O’Sullivan achieves this by comparing the viewers’ relationship to a work and its understanding, to the process of viewing and the consciousness of immersion in the ritual of a Buddhist shrine, (puja), (O’Sullivan, 2001). In a similar way, I intend to argue how painting and visual art in general can be understood in terms of parallel thinking and immanence. These ‘further adventures’, (O’Sullivan, 2001 p.115) can be considered in a similar way to Murphy’s search for understanding in the potential capacity’s of human experiences through the meta- normal.
In Simon O’Sullivan essay, The Aesthetics of Affect, (O’Sullivan, 2001), he questions how we understand art as only an object of knowledge and not as aesthetic. He argues that art’s importance lies in it being a part of the world as a made thing but also exist with apartness. (O’Sullivan, 2001p.125). O’Sullivan sees this apartness as an ‘affect’ (O’Sullivan, 2001) that forms a deeper understanding of the aesthetic. O’Sullivan argues that deconstruction has partly caused a muting of the true colour of the visual; the aesthetic doesn’t have to be considered metaphysically or ideologically. O’Sullivan counters these interpretations by taking into consideration the affects of art. He says, ‘affects are moments of intensity, a reaction in/on the body at the level of matter’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p.125), this experience being separate from or indeed more than the experience of language.
Interestingly, Arthur C Danto argues that the notion of dematerialisation emphasised art as an activity, rather than a production (Danto, 1987). I feel this positions art strongly to question, depict and instigate heightened states and the meta-normal, as an experience through the materiality of the work. O’Sullivan says art is a bundle of affects or sensations, waiting to be reactivated by the spectator or participant, ‘you can’t read affects just experience them’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p.125).
Danto considers it instructive to think in terms of a connection between this experience of an attitude on an activity with the blurring between what is considered
art works and ordinary objects. This connection occurred in dematerialisation. Danto, like O’Sullivan, uses Zen Buddhism and the conscious absorption of simple activities such as sweeping or sitting. He explains how within the understanding of art, ordinary objects can be art without being changed or modified. He stresses, ‘the world and images can be appreciated in a different spirit’, (Danto, 1987 p.86) in the same way everyday actions are experienced as a way of practising Zen. The key point Danto makes as part of Zen understanding is that, ‘The whole world can become aesthetic without there being any change in the world at all’ (Danto, 1987 p.86).
This I feel is key not only in understanding art objects and their meaning in terms of dematerialisation or affect, but also in how we look at representational work. In just the same way a painting depicting happenings, or strange meta-normal happenings within the world, images can be understood with parallel meaning and can also inform its nature through the materiality of its construction. O’Sullivan argues that art, ‘affect’ (O’ Sullivan, 2001p.125) should be considered as running alongside, ‘parallel or immanent with the experience of art not beyond as Derrida states’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p.125). O’Sullivan explains that an art work would be considered not as, ‘an object as such, or not only a object, but rather a space, a zone or what Alain Badiou …..Would call an event site….. place of happening’ (O’Sullivan, 2001p.125). O’Sullivan links this notion to Bergson’s concept of other planes of reality: consciousness (O’Sullivan, 2001).
This concept of planes of reality in human experience is integral to Murphy’s research. In Michael Murphy’s most significant work , The Future of the Body, an Exploration into the Further Evolution of Human Development, Murphy lists and studies evidences of amazing human feats, that are unexplainable, ‘the human capacity for meta-normal perception, cognition, movement, vitality and spiritual development’ (Pearce, 1992 p.787). He takes examples from a plethora of practises; for example, sport, religion, physics, and medicine to name a few. In describing Murphy’s work, Andrew Cooper explains how in, The Future of the Body, ‘the intrinsic mode of consciousness is inextricably bound up with myth’ (Cooper, 1998 p. 93). Murphy uses science, to explain this meta-normal development, but you still need myth, and mystery when discussing these bursts or glimpses of evolutionary potential (Cooper, 1998). Art (affect) can be used in the same way as myth to better explore the role of art thought and also as part of the whole discourse of understanding of art. Murphy uses myth or often a mythic character as a tool to express his ideas in his novels. In the second part of this paper, I will explore in greater depth how the concept of myth in art, self formed by the artist and developed by the medium is key to how visual art can be understood.
Firstly, I shall establish the role that the treatment and method of paint and the materiality of artworks, play in forming a visual transformative ‘affect’ as O’Sullivan defines it. I intend to question how art can depict and instigate heightened state and the meta-normal, specifically through painting as a process and the materiality of the work. Other areas of study I will use to achieve this will be Bergson’s duration and intuition.
Rudolf Steiner’s blackboard drawings function as guide to how painters today such David Reed, whose work and thinking like Steiner, ‘embrace the pictorial imaginative element, thinking that is formative, one that nullifies the opposition of art and science’,( Kugler, 2003 p. 13). Rudolf Steiner’s blackboard drawings were completed to accompany his lectures on Anthroposphy, which is characterised by its, ‘ability to move between philosophy and science between human being and cosmos, between art and life’. ( Kugler, 2003 p. 13). These works have later been re-examined and considered works of art in themselves, partly because of aesthetic beauty and the fact that they function as a conceptual image. They have also been better understood as a strong influence on Joseph Beuys’ blackboard works.
The ‘thought pictures’ (Maria Sam, 2003 p. 18) were completed in coloured chalk on black paper on board. Steiner’s lectures were not planned and like the images ,his teaching was a creative act. Maria Sam argues that through Steiner’s process of students watching him create the drawings to illustrate his lectures, ‘you see every line as it is drawn’ through his act of creation (Maria Sam, 2003 p. 18). In addition, you ‘join the effort inwardly and this would encourage inner activity ‘ (Maria Sam, 2003 p. 18). Kugler expands the notion by saying ‘attention is alerted, lines of interaction arise between image and observer allowing contact and involvements to come into play’ (Kugler, 2003 p. 97). He further expresses how the images themselves form a metaphor for creativity or creation, ‘messages emerging from infinite darkness, in lines, spirals and circles …coloured surfaces that open up or delineate vast spaces.. arising new meanings in the network interplay of words’ (Kugler, 2003 p. 97). Kugler explains that Steiner’s work expresses an idea ‘artistically and brings what is seen into a place of inner knowing’ (Kugler, 2003 p. 24). Ultimately, works that reach beyond concepts to moments of awareness- immanence and questions of enlightenment.
Interestingly, the formation of the epiphany, the moment of creative inspiration and sudden religious exhalations has been depicted by Baroque artists use of translucence, and light glazed pigment. The critic David Hickey notes that artist David Reed brings the 16th century rhetoric of translucent surfaces in Baroque painting, into congruence with the low rider modern car graphic aesthetics (Hickey, 1994 p. 43). Reed links contemporary abstract art through a transcendent radiance, one of paint and aesthetic discourse and the other of through religious experience (Hickey, 1994 p. 43). David Reed uses contemporary cultural aesthetic and deep spiritual connotations through painting gesture. This can method can be compared to Steiner’s drawings and his use of the spiritual and the scientific.
To further this enquiry of the treatment of the spiritual and the scientific in art, I will consider how both Murphy and Gilles Deleuze have analysed Bergson’s work on developing an understanding of new levels of consciousness formed through time. Michael Murphy describes this as, ‘new kinds of knowing’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187). Murphy discusses Henri Bergson’s understanding of consciousness advancement throughout human history as the, ‘evolution of consciousness’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187). This point is emphasising Bergson’s notion of intuition as part of consciousness. He describes that,’ like a painter’s capacity for pure perception, intuition is the apprehending of the world directly’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187). In relation to the outside world and the object this takes the form of an act, ‘by which one is transported into the interior of an object’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187); a way to understand what is inexpressible. In relation to the self, Murphy describes Bergson’s intuition as a kind of immersion,’ in the indivisible flow of consciousness, a grasp of pure becoming’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187). This is in contrast to intellect and knowledge from a distinct position. Murphy explains how Bergson developed his concept of intuition as an element key in the advancement of consciousness through his idea of elvan vital (vital impulse), which he described as, ‘the force that impels universal development’, (Murphy, 1992 p. 187).
Moreover, Deluzes’ work as a post-modern philosopher has been followed by the recent trans-disciplinary nature of contemporary art. Deleuze has developed Bergson’s work in a less literal sense then Murphy; Bergson’s ideas for Deleuze take the form of metaphors, different systems of thinking and knowing. The crucial connection I wish to make between these two thinker’s interpretations of Bergson is how they understand a sense of creative transformation and development of consciousness. Murphy uses fiction as a key tool to help express creative possibilities in evolution and Deleuze does this through new modes of thought (Parr, 2010).
Additionally, I feel this idea of unrealised capacities links to the way Neo Rauch talks about the production of his paintings, he says ‘painting means the continuation of a dream with other means’, (Comer, 2006 p.37). Rauch is the main figure to come out of a group of artists called the ‘New Leipzig School’. Rauch’s paintings are strange scenes of fractured, unstable exteriors and interiors with a vast array of odd characters participating in enigmatic dramas. (Comer, 2006 p.37). Rauch allows the characters and figures within them to almost be constructors of the paintings themselves, ‘Well-functioning pictures always retain some frayed sections, perforated segments, which do not come under the jurisdiction of the laws made for them or even break the laws. The painter must see to it that such moments take place and they remain preserved otherwise he only creates a dead fabric with great precision. (Comer, 2006 p.37).
Rauch’s paintings form a model for images that contain a creative transformation within themselves and a structurally dynamic subject. In a similar way this idea of self transformation within a visual world is used by Murphy in, Jacob Atabet. In Jacob Atabet, Speculative Fiction, a novel written by Murphy he focusses on the supernormal actions of a mystical teacher, Jacob Atabet. Atabet is described as a metaphysical painter and runner. The book explores the supernormal phenomena and the ‘link between body and mind, and altered states of artistic, literary, physical and religious activity’ (Kripal, 2007 p. 292).
The narrative follows Jacob Atabet’s self transformation and morphing body with the use of Indian tantric mysticism, painting and physical exercise. The work’s focused theme is a ‘unity between being and becoming, spirit and evolution’, (Kripal, 2007 p. 292). Importantly, Atabet is a painter who believes that the process of painting helps catalyse his physical transfiguration and development to a different physical consciousness. Painter, Alex Gray explains the significance of Atabet being a painter informs the, ‘link between creativity and mystical experience’, (Kripal, 2007 p. 298). To express how this association of physical and the transformational is important to visual art, I will compare how, Jacob Atabet, by Murphy functions in relation to Giles Deleuze and Guttarie’s concept of the, The Body Without Organs, (O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277).
O’Sullivan says Deleuze is a thinker of, ‘flow, intensities outside of or beyond the human’. O’Sullivan interprets, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s, A Thousand Plateaus, as a reading of ‘escaping lived life’, ( O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277). He states the most evident example of this escape is the concept of the, Body with Out Organs, (BWO), The BWO is understood by O’Sullivan as, ‘a method that helps free us from the strata that constitutes us a human’, he says, ‘ a freedom from a particular configuration’, (O’Sullivan, 2010 p270). This intention of change or escape mirrors very closely the intention of Jacab Atabets transformation, ‘From the beginning he was fascinated with the surfaces and structures of the body . He started to put his visions on canvas and as he did he felt his body changing’. (Murphy 1977 p 52).
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari talk about the body in way of its ‘potentialities and capabilities’, (Colman 2010 p 101). Deleuze developed the playwright and poet Antonin Artuads concept of the BWO; his idea being the body becomes a creative site. The metaphor forms the question, what can become of a, Body without Organs, what are the possibilities? These thinkers are not concerned with past understanding of, ‘past structures’, (Colman 2010 p 101), but future mobility, or as Murphy would argue evolutional capacities formed through visual creativity.
O’Sullivan explains that Deleuze deals with an aesthetic ‘beyond subjectivity.’ (O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277). The paintings by Neo Rauch and the fictional images made by Atabet, of colour fields and physiological structures, that catalyse a real transformation and form a strong metaphor for this concept. Deleuze often creates hypothetical situations with, ‘experiences that are atypical and non ordinary’, for example, ‘what happens to an individual in a world without others?’(O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277). This is similar to Murphy’s use of art to describe and explore experience. O’Sullivan realises that the interaction with the world becomes a character in itself, ‘The individual harnesses cosmic forces and becomes world as it were.’ (O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277).
I feel this concept links to the understanding of the world in terms of art and Atabet’s statement, ‘The body is made for self exceeding it is an entrance to a thousand
worlds’, (Murphy, 1988 p.166). This notion of exceeding and becoming within art is a kind of, ‘immanent aesthetic’, (O’Sullivan, 2010 p 277), forming the possibility for a more creative response to the world. This has been driven by Bergson, interpreted by Deleuze and fictionalised by Murphy as a new way of thinking and understanding future creativity. Moreover, this expresses how visual art has a key role to play depicting, absorbing and radiating future thinking and development.
The Myth and fiction
The question now developed is how these affects and methods in visual art can become apart of an immanent aesthetic, how art can be more than a representation, in depicting the beyond normal experiences of unrealised potential? Why does the meta-normal help understand visual art? In the first section of this paper I have explained how Michael Murphy has used both scientific data, related to evolution and the devise of the novel (fiction) to express the notion of the meta- normal. In this section of the paper I will, argue how visual (painting) can bridge the gap between a kind of art work that is akin to some of Murphy’s novels and the visual aesthetic that allows an entry to creative states as described by Bergson and Deleuze, This would occur through the creation of myth and fiction as a tool. I will also look to express how the creation of a fiction or myth to express how an immanent aesthetic can form an answer to Simon O’Sullivan’s debate of how to form a text or critical analysis that can run alongside a work. (O’ Sullivan, 2001).
A key artist whose I feels work, themes and subject matter bridges the gap between the visual representational work I have already discussed and the experiential or the myth is Sigmour Polke, and his works based on, ‘apparitions and phantoms’. (Moure, 2006. p19) Gloria Moure discusses a linking of Polke’s use of painting technique and the meaning behind the work, she quotes Hiddegger saying, ‘the essences and not the appearance of techniques is revealing of what is hidden and is there to be be discovered, in consequence, technique will always be creative, revolutionary, and the foundations of freedom’ (Moure, 2006. p19).
Polke’s work is often inspired by hidden images in the work of Goya and the idea of hidden forces. It is his use of resins and floating pigment juxtaposed with graphic, cultural imagery based on stories and narratives that drives meaning, in the work, builds meaning and the possibility of hidden meaning. Moure explains that in ancient Greece the idea of technique and art were the same, she says that Polke’s work ‘was dealing with technique process of painting and forms an inseparable meeting of matter and image’. (Moure, 2006. p19). His work does not do this in isolation but in relation to an evolution of art technique and an understanding of the form of the old masters; in particular in Polke’s case Goya.
Moure draws parallel to Duchamp’s statement that painting should be ‘ an appearance of the appearance ‘. (Moure, 2006. p 20) For Duchamp, the materiality of the canvas was a problem. For him, ‘the world was an appearance represented by our senses, and painting would be trace left by bodies and physical presence of
objects that traverse an imaginary plane’. (Moure, 2006. p 20). This is the kind of visual sensitivity to the world that Polke formed in his works and objects, as though visually travelling through dimensions, taking an instant and dispelling time. (Moure, 2006.) Forming what I would I consider a fiction of affect and method, the subject matter and the phenomenon of apparitions.
Conversely, much like Duchamp’s thinking Simon O’Sullivan expresses his understanding of fiction and its role as a creator in art, saying that, ‘ Fiction is a name for an alternative logic and for the production of alternative worlds’. (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 48). Polke’s works function like fictions moving away from, ‘ typical signifying regimes, fiction names this weird signifying signification, this complex assemblage of the said and the unsaid when words emit strange part meanings and non meanings (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 48). O’Sullivan says, ‘fiction takes away image clichés, forming new stories and myths in these turbulent times’. (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 48). It is this same history of post war Germany that links Polke and Joesph Beuys both working at Dusseldof Academy; Beuys as a teacher and Polke as a student. This understanding of fiction in relation to history and a response to turbulent times links strongly to how Joseph Beuys works function as part of this meta-normal transformative understanding of art.
Furthermore, both Beuys and Polke are using myth and fiction in different pools of meaning. O’Sullivan says,’ Fictions are problems for a solution with too many ready made solutions’ (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 47). For Beuys the solutions are the creative restrictions and shame of post war period, and for Polke it was the deconstruction of the visual through modernism. To form his solution, Beuys instilled a self-made myth, which itself built meaning into his objects and Images. For Polke he used the phenomenon of apparitions with different aesthetic meanings. They are, ‘the unexpected appearance of something visible but immaterial in the haze, the darkness, or simply the nothingness, something that resembles the supernatural’, (Moure, 2006. p20) Moure explains that apparitions are associated with, ‘evanescent substances, with changing colours, diffuse outlines and fluctuating forms.’ (Moure, 2006. p20) This is much like the meta-normal cases recovered by Murphy, these moments filling gaps in aesthetics and science or perhaps opening up possibilities and creativities.
Joseph Beuys used his own life and the myth surrounding it as a key aspect of meaning in his work. Beuys was a German pilot in the Second World War; he was shot down in the Crimea and according to his legend was rescued by a nomadic tartar tribe, they saved his life by rubbing fat into his body wrapping him in felt to conserve heat. Ileana Marcolescou says, ‘He integrated it (his experience) into a rarefied symbolic system that makes up the core of his compulsive oeuvre’. (Marcolescou, 2005 p. 52). In Benjamin Buchlohs essay on Beuys, Twilight of the Idol, Buchloh criticizes Beuys for using this personal myth as background meaning behind his work. He says that the myth behind Beuys has grown so large, ‘it is almost impossible to put his work into historical context or to look at it critically’. He says ‘his followers and admirers are blindfolded like cultists’. (Buchloh, 2005 p. 112) Pointedly, O’Sullivan describes fiction as ‘ always a fragment of a future placed in this time by a traitor prophet and this may be a future that was imaged from within a certain region of the past’ (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 49). This perfectly describes how Beuy’s work functions his place in the past is to form a creative fiction for the future.
Benjamin Buchloh argued against Beuys use of his myth as a layer of meaning in his work. Beuys used allegorical methods to describe the meaning of his work to form what O’Sullivan described as an ‘immanent aesthetic’. (O’Sullivan, 2001). He also created an understanding of an event that Murphy would describe as transformative and perhaps an indication of how possible future self transformation can take place. O’Sullivan points out Bergson’s explanation that fiction, in this case Beuys’ own fiction allows us to unplug and enter a different duration, ‘Story telling is a fabulation, producing a gap for those who chose to hear between stimulus and response from which creativity arises, (Bergson)’ (O’ Sullivan, 2008 p 48).
The artist Stephen Kaltenbach’s work is so steeped in the production of myth, personal legend and mystery that many of his works are still yet to be realised. As O’Sullivan explains, ‘fiction is a naming at the edge of things, shape-shifter’(O’ Sullivan, 2008 p 50). He has created works and decisions that are seemingly counter intuitive to building and developing an art career and profile. In her essay, Altered Ego, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwe describes Kaltenbachs work as,
‘ full of secrets and misdirection, mysteries and invisibility, hoaxes and questionable ethics, mischievous games and invented personae, sly humour and deferred surprises set to go off in the future like time bombs’. (Lehrer-Graiwer, 2010).
Kaltenbach much like Duchamp who had publicly quit art for chess earlier in a deceptive retirement that by 1969, turned out to have been a decoy enabling him to do his work in private, abandoned his own budding contemporary art career in 60′s. This concept of disappearance or the hoax, was formed in the piece, ‘Kill my Career’. (Lehrer-Graiwer, 2010). He made a series of ‘ life dramas’ (Lehrer-Graiwer, 2010) where he created a fictional artist persona’s. He experimented with his reputation, identity and Lehrer-Graiwe draws comparison to Andy Kaufman’s multiple persona’s and fake appearances in his work as comedian and performance artist. Kaltenbach temporarily became various fake, constructed made up artists, often as, ‘peripheral, provincial artists’ (Lehrer-Graiwer, 2010). Simon O’Sullivan expresses perfectly in his outline of how fiction should work in the future of art, how Kaltenbach’s work functioned in the past and will in the future, O’Sullivan says, ‘ What is needed is proliferation of fictions, multiplication of other possible worlds. A performance and construction of avatars after all why not be someone else for a change.’ (O’ Sullivan, 2008 p 49) he continues encouraging the, ‘writing of alternative history’s and of manifestos that announce the as yet to come’, (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 49) this concept of using art for a conduit of the future reflects O’Sullivan’s own art group, Plastique Fantastic and their manifesto as group described as a mythopoetic fiction.(O’Sullivan, 2008).
Kaltenbach’s work exposes the very structure and discourse of art writing and history, his work challenges and becomes a part of the very process of recording it.
As a writer or art historian attempts to understand Kaltenbach’s works they will have to discover and thus activate the very works he has set up in retrospect; for example his series of time capsules that can only be opened at certain points in the artist’s career. His many persona’s as craft makers and provincial painters allow the visual and representation to become part of self reflexive process and are a prime example of a personal myth constructing meaning in the visual. (Lehrer-Graiwer, 2010) Kaltenbach’s work and O’Sullivan’s highlights the truism that, ‘the world is already fiction’ and that, ‘fiction is magic and alters our space times’ (O’Sullivan, 2008 p 49).
As my research has developed, I have sought to question and understand how a discourse to understand visual art can be linked with the notion of the meta-normal. I feel that artwork that uses fiction, myth, the unknown or the meta normal, allows a realisation of how art can help form an understanding of future worlds and capacities. The same notion of myth or spirituality is explored by Steiner in terms of art and creation, for example he says, ‘through art the human being redeems the spirit that is bound in the world’, (Kugler, 2003 p.14). Therefore, art and its discourse as myth or fiction becomes a transformative practise, Murphy describes a transformative practise as, ‘a complex set of activities that produce a positive change in a person or group, for example religious, yogic, shamanic, or the athletic,’ (Murphy, 1992 p. 284).
The self reflexive, ‘affect’ constructed in myth and the meta-normal is one of the strongest ways of resolving the problem that Simon O’Sullivan identified, ‘A kind of
writing or intervention which does not reduce or seek to limit the art experience, but rather opens it up to further adventures, an immanent aesthetic’. (O’Sullivan, 2001p.115). The method material of the work will form what Murphy describes as an integral practise, ‘a discipline to cultivate the physical, vital, affective and transpersonal dimensions of human functioning’. (Murphy 1992 p. 284), There is room in the future to develop this work further in terms of understanding contemporary art, as artists and painters will continue to and push and explore, ‘a new Species of picture’, (Kugler, 2003 p.24).