Paintings by Alex Prowse PS
Sathya Sai Baba, Chaitanya Jyotie at Puttaparthi, India.
In 2004,I was a participant in the nine–day festival of the divine Mother, known as Dasara, or Navaratri, at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi, India. This festival had a profound visual as well as spiritual effect on me. The three paintings you see before you represent the essence of the vivid illustrated experiences that I had.
The idea of a triptych of three paintings is tied to the threefold division of Dasara into the worship of three aspects of the Mother: Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. In Hindu tradition, during the Dasara festival objects are offered into the flames. Fire is seen in a highly positive way, as being the divine Mother Herself -- the Mother-as-Fire.
Dasara is intended to promote worship of the Mother, and particularly to celebrate Her victory over a great demon: the triumph of good over evil. Shortly after the Dasara festival, these paintings were underway at Alex’ studio in London. The all-pervading, all-powerful Supreme Energy, or Shaktl, manifests Herself in the paintings as Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, and the paintings convey the joyful expression of Her visual ‘trumpet’ of victory.
I do not ask you to choose which of the paintings represents Durga, Lakshmi or Saraswati. This is the choice of the viewer. However, the viewer is asked to participate in this riot of colour and form; to be excited by this ancient visual mantra spelled out by the three paintings. The flame tones colour all, creating a hot and vibrant palette. These paintings demand our full attention and intense gaze. The colours pulse with excitement, singing in praise of the ecstatic dance of this ancient and occult ceremony. The mantras sung during the nine-day event are captured, held, and made to vibrate in front of the viewer, who in turn becomes the offering in the fire of Dasara. The paintings resonate the Great and the Whole, becoming themselves the famous Gayatri mantra.
The paintings before you were blessed by the Lord Himself, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. He viewed and held the images, and commented, “Show them, they will be part of the history.”
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