For the Townsman
A retrospective of the renowned artist ManWoman will be on display at the Cranbrook & District Arts Council’s gallery next week.
The exhibit on the late Cranbrook artist and spiritual visionary will run from October 3 to October 31.
Opening reception for this exhibit, will be held on Friday, October 7, at 7 pm at 1013 Baker Street, Cranbrook. On hand will be ManWoman’s wife Astarte, who can answer any questions you may have about ManWoman’s work .
The Transcendental Art of ManWoman:
Four early periods of Bride, Dragon, the Skull and the Child express the experience of joyous awakening, purification, death and re-birth of child-like innocence. These are the transformative, iconographic symbols which were to represent ManWoman’s direct experience of the divine through near death and out-of-body experiences.
The first of these occurred in 1958 when Patrick Charles Kemball 20, working under his parents’ car modifying it to a hot-rod. He heard a voice that told him to get out from under the vehicle and he narrowly escaped being impaled by a spring as the car suddenly crashed down off its blocks. The experience affected him deeply and he vowed that he would focus his energy on a higher goal and become God’s artist.
This was followed by out-of-body experiences which impelled him to quit architecture school and attend the Alberta College of Art in Calgary.
Painting became a tool for expressing and transforming his consciousness and his dedication to this practice strengthened over time. Intense and vivid dreams gifted many rich images as well as guidelines for action.
As the Bride theme develops and changes, the symbolic union of male and female resolves the deep longing of the bride in complete Oneness. This theme was so profound that the artist legally changed his name to ManWoman in an act of grounding this transcendent state in daily life. He was being called ManWoman in his dreams for at least a year at this point. His portrayal of sexual union celebrates sexuality as a creative part of life in the physical world and on another level, as a metaphor for union with the Absolute. His creative expression influenced his clothing and appearance and as he explored this feminine aspect, he began wearing robes, earrings, and long hair many years before the trend was popular. Tattoos and the use of swastikas were also images and directives from dreams.
As an innovator, ManWoman was often controversial but persistently followed his inner guidance in spite of criticism and opposition.
His later works explore themes of non-existent spiritual products to bring happiness, bliss, joy and truth to consumers giving commentary on our materialistic lifestyle with a humorous twist. Others depict moments of ecstasy that spontaneously burst upon our awareness when we remember the divine essence that is in us and all around us.
Submitted by Astarte