Melanie Pankau: When the Center Stands Still
My practice as a painter is guided by a process of meditation, and grows out of the reflection and contemplation within these quiet spaces. For nearly a decade, I have been studying a variety of meditation traditions and techniques, and integrating this parallel practice into my paintings. It is in a state of solitude and interiority where the geometric forms and diagrammatic structures in my work originate.
When the Center Stands Still is a suite of ten paintings that unfolded over a two year period. This body of work began with my daily meditation practice. I worked with three different techniques: mantras (a repeated Sanskrit phrase/sound), yoga nidra (a guided visual meditation), and kriyas (an active form of meditation that moves energy to specific points in the body). These meditations allowed me to enter a deep state of concentration and opened up a field or space for the images to emerge. Directly after meditation, I drew in my sketchbook—a type of automatic writing but in a visual form. The sketches became the foundational compositions for the paintings and mirror a contemplative state of being.
Specifically, this body of work conveys the unseen forces of the energetic fields of the body and subtle layers of consciousness. My intention is to visualize a contemplative consciousness by creating images that are positive, meditative, and mirror our inner and interconnected worlds.