Excerpts from Heart Sutras and Self-Portrait As
by Chelsea Rushton
The works included in these "Exerpts from Heart Sutras and Self-Portrait As" are two interlinked series of self-portraits: the pieces in Heart Sutras depict through metaphor and symbol the energetic processes I experienced during a process of emotional healing; the works in Self-Portrait As allow me to imagine my physical body into situations that it cannot physically occupy. All of these works, and the continuing body of vision drawings they contribute to, facilitate what in yoga is called witness consciousness: a deeply engaged yet non-attached observance of my own physical, emotional, mental, and energetic processes, toward increased knowledge of my Self and its position in a larger order.
A successful drawing transmits an essence: a non-tangible quality that causes what feels like excitement, or an awakening. This essence is always of greatest importance to me, tantamount to the quality of line or the wash of a particular colour or the accuracy with which I have rendered a form. I am interested in how these formal elements work together to transmit the emotional and spiritual significances of what I have "seen." The heart resonance. The revelation. The first waking second after a dream.
Chelsea Rushton holds a BFA with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria and an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Calgary, and she is certified at the 500 hour level as a yoga instructor. Her research focuses on the intersections of art, ritual, and spirituality, and the ways in which art practice can document and facilitate personal and collective growth and evolution. Her meditative and creative practices hold as a primary goal the experience and alignment of the physical and energetic aspects of the self. She is the designer and instructor of Art of the Soul: Creative Process as Spiritual Practice, a special topics combined lecture and seminar course offered at the University of Calgary. She shares her time between Calgary, Gabriola Island, and the Bay Area.