“Transpersonal art is the symbolic reenactment of the abstract imagination, images of a timeless and internal universe, that are reflective in accordance with the knowledge of our time, organic expressions that demonstrate the eternal magic of the human condition. Transpersonal art is the modernism of the art movement, accurately reflecting the multiplicity of our reality, by expressing the realm of our primary meaning, a universal mode of consciousness that envisions life as sacred.
These images may appear mystical, literal or conceptual, because the abstract elements vary as representation of the know, the less known, and the unknown. Whether you view Transpersonal art as simply a mirror of ordinary biological urges or as contact with other worlds filled with living beings, what is certain is they are our collective dreams and visions, the dramatic personae of our your own imagination realized as an independent entity with a life of its own.” James e. woody, 1991.
Questions to ponder:
- What do you think the quintessential art movement will be that accurately reflects the moments of our time?
- How will our collective creative visions survive the external, the digital and the cyber-worlds?
- What is the imagination when the ego is anaesthetized, can we behold the world anew?
Transpersonal Art is the “new” modernism, its not magic, it’s the creative imagination.
I believe that paints and pigments can be approached as ritual objects, magical energetic substances, that we create a space for manifestation, we don’t need to invent or devise from our minds. Painting or the ownership of them can be a meditative ritual, a ritual of affirmation and manifestation. When I am present with the actual reality of what I am doing, breathing, with a ritual object, my paint, paper or canvas in hand, only then am I clear what is before me.
I only ask of myself to take the space-time to dwell with the work in its such-ness, making every part of the process a trance inducing play, rather than racing to a foregone conclusion that I hold somewhere in my head. It’s the difference between goal-orientated behavior, contrasted to the attitude of appreciating every phase, every process as an end in itself. Because, no part of life or art should be merely rushing from A to Z without appreciating the journey in its fullness along the way. Every moment is complete in itself. With art and life, there is space and opportunity at every phase for invention. james e. woody 2008
All significant events in life reflect a deeper sense of purpose, meaning and direction in this, the human experience!
Transpersonal art will continue as a growing trend among academics; because it focuses on self-realization and design psychology will be the tool used increasingly to create inspiring places. One might say, spiritual considerations and psychology are now the principal design tools used to create aesthetically and functionally beautiful places, emotionally and socially fulfilling spaces.
The scientific and artistic communities have already begun to define transpersonal art as the spectacular divide, the space between two worldviews, one slowly dying, one not yet born. As for the definition of “transpersonal” it has come to simply mean; those realities that include but go beyond, the personal; a wider sweep across the skin-encapsulated ego and touch other beings, the cosmos, the spirit, and places kept secret to those who surround themselves with themselves.
Only a few years ago, Ken Wilber wrote an essay for the opening of an art exhibit. The essay, called “To See A World–Art and the I of the Beholder,” gave Wilber the opportunity to explore the many ways that experience can be organized and interpreted, where experience and art was, and where art must be headed. A perspective madness is the general term he used to describe much of the art, art criticism, literary criticism and cultural studies of the prior two decades. Wilber goes on to write. “The reason that art in the postmodern, the existential world has reached something of a culde-sac is not that art itself is exhausted, but that the existential worldview is”.
If Wilber is right, art would spot, and depict, the coming worldview, while breaking decisively with the old. The art world might be invigorated by something wholly new, because the leap to a higher spiritual plane in art could be in fomentation. We can then hope, or even expect that art might then be the cutting edge for changes in the culture, social and political spheres. This “new art” would spot, then depict, new ways of seeing, new modes of being, new forms of cognition, new heights or depths of feeling and in all cases, new modes of perception.
What is the historic reference of Transpersonal Art?
Transpersonal art primitive origins originated from an expression that sought to intimate the shamanic, mystical, spiritual realms of consciousness, realms beyond -yet including- the personal, entering into the subtle, collective and universal fields of nature, realms accessible to consciousness that is healing, is moving toward wholeness and experience of oneness with the unbounded, interconnected, quantum-coherent universe. Within the realms of prehistory, we find that art was much more fundamental than a mere pastime, a simple way to reflect social concerns. Historically art has it’s center, the process of connection with life, enabling the participant to cooperate with his environment through his religion and magic. According to a fundamental magical belief throughout the ages, the part is integral with the whole. -Larouse Encyclopedia of Prehistoric and Ancient Art. Frazer goes on to discredit these principles in the same vein as we would today; that they are based on fear and superstition. The old cave paintings depicting religious rites, fertility cults and hunting scenes are simply the products of a less civilized humanity and are not the carefully crafted talismans they were meant to be.
“Woody” began writing his manifesto on transpersonal art in 1988 while a partner in a corporate communications firm, CR2, then located in Rochester, NY. His concept during that time was derived from the school of Renaissance humanism and derivatives of the Futurist and DADA art movements. His goal then was to interject a new definition of “corporate art” as an adjective rather than a noun. During those years, CR2’s had birthed and redefining “corporate art” within the context of functional works designed to document the evolutionary process of mans relationship to this technologies who’s role as art is to “sensitive” the populist to innovations within the technology sector. “Woody” continues to promote the concept of art as healing in his personal artwork, as demonstrated with in these online galleries.
Reference: Boucovolas, M. (1999). Following the movement: from transpersonal psychology to a multidisciplinary transpersonal orientation. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 31 (1) 27-39 Wikipedia information about transpersonal art. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Transpersonal psychology”.
For your convenience additional web-links as well as free downloadable PDF’s regarding design psychology, art therapy and transpersonal art can found on the main screen.
“By descending down into the depths of the soul, and not primarily by a painful acquisition of many manual skills, the artist attains the power of awakening other souls.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“All that I am is dedicated to the beauty found in my hopes and inspirations; my children, April Lee and Alejandro Tomas, to you both, I give all my love always”. This website was built as a result of much inspiration and support as provided by artist, collectors, publishers, educators and some very special friends and family members.
Although space would not allow honorable mention of everyone, I am compelled to recognize and share my appreciation to those mentioned in this a partial list, respectfully including; first and foremost, Rosaline Johnson, Ann Reade-Moore as well as Ana Rita, Valerie Coleman, Ileana Moreno, Razia Said, Adrielle Roberts, Michael Owens, Ron Dunson, Khalil Tayob, Jennifer James Pryor, Sharon Dover, Wayne Calabrese, John Rizzo, Shanga Kapharaoh, George & Rose Rubagumya, William (Dollar Bill) Waller, William Collum, Carl Maultsby, Kenneth Hicks, nile Rodgers, Karen Turner, William Hopson, Karen Turner, Stacy Maupin, Collin Austin, Salome Yilma-Deresa, The Maruoka Family, The Sankey Family, The Chappell Family, The Soaries Family, The Whitaker Family, The Dixon Family, James Warrus & Family, The Watkins Family, George Ryder Jr. and Family, Josh Eikov, Donald Simon, David Tabasky, Gus Velez, Rhonda Woody and Debra Pinnex. Remembered always in the search for the best of friends are: Adler Constants, Dwayne Griffin and Vince Pastos.
My sincere appreciation is also given to those charitable and nonprofit auctioneers who’s continuous support has made my dream a reality and to those celebrities and public figures who so graciously receive my gift. Thank you.
“I believe that paints and pigments can be approached as ritual objects, magical energetic substances, that we create a space for manifestation, we don’t need to invent or devise from our minds. Painting or the ownership of them can be a meditative ritual, a ritual of affirmation and manifestation. When I am present with the actual reality of what I am doing, breathing, with a ritual object, my paint, paper or canvas in hand, only then am I clear what is before me. James e. Woody 2008
A collectors choice: James e. Woody, one of the world’s first proclaimed and recognized African-American transpersonal artists, founder of the Be Sensitive Network as well as Be Sensitive Day, as a global celebration of philanthropy. Although It would be impossible to capitulate his life in this short allocation of time and space, his soon to be completed book entitled “Right In Front Of Your Face”, will certainly render his life story all that it really deserves, so let me share with you one of his writings’, trusting it most exemplifies his essence.
“For we live in the land of the living not on the streets of the forgotten, having done so much in so little time and learned the world is so big, we learn to treasure our inch of it”. James e. Woody 1986
The Metamorphosis: “Woody” a self taught painter is an urban visionary, a concept developer and communicator of new ideals who creates art because be believes that art may in some way spot, and depict, an approaching worldview, “art is life and life is sacred”. His paintings are collected by eclectic, visionary and informed art collectors and nonprofit charitable auctions, because they know building sustainable wealth is based on a fundamental principal, define value.
As you explore his artwork and writings you too may recognize how much his imagery reflects in pictorial forms some of the dynamics of transpersonal ecstatic states. Many of his paintings have been depicted as a birth passage from the confines of habituated and entrained thought patterns to a realm of numinous expansion. His paintings appear to align with the abundant, creative, exciting unfolding universe of experience and form. “Woody” is a learner of all things beautiful and he hopes and even expects that Transpersonal art will be the cutting edge for changes in our culture, social and political spheres.
“As for me, Transpersonal art allows for a look beyond my personality. A wide range of artistic expressions are utilized in my art to express my inner worlds, an interpretation of the shapes of my life. Engaging my soul’s intrinsic peace until I am reminded that inner peace forms a strong core for everything else I do”. James e. Woody 2007
Woody is on a mission to demystify the concept of transpersonal experiences. He believes, it is only when one surrenders the over-managing, controlling, devising mind that something greater is manifest. His work shows us that this journey called life is not always easy, but rather the fruits of suffering and self-sacrifice, yet there is a redemption made possible by a higher dimensional entity. To watch him work you instantly know that he is creating art which entrains access to higher states of consciousness. His motivations are that this “new art” would spot, then depict, new ways of seeing, new modes of being, new forms of cognition, new heights or depths of feeling and in all cases, new modes of perception. He hopes his art work will allow him to become a catalyst for helping others to discover their self empowered inner wisdom—the single most powerful and lasting seed of change!
“Woody” began writing his manifesto on transpersonal art in 1988 while still a partner in CR2, a corporate communications firm, located in Rochester, NY. His concepts during those days had derived from the school of Renaissance humanism and derivatives of the Futurist and DADA art movements. His goal was to interject the market with a new definition of “corporate art” as an adjective rather than a noun. It was during those years, CR2’s helped to birth and redefine “corporate art” within the context of functional works designed to document the evolutionary process of mans relationship to this technologies who’s role as art is to “sensitive” the populist to innovations within the technology sector. “Woody” continues to promote the concept of art as healing in his personal artwork, as demonstrated with in these online galleries.
I only ask of myself to take the space-time to dwell with the work in its such-ness, making every part of the process a trance inducing play, rather than racing to a foregone conclusion that I hold somewhere in my head. It’s the difference between goal-orientated behavior, contrasted to the attitude of appreciating every phase, every process as an end in itself. Because, no part of life or art should be merely rushing from A to Z without appreciating the journey in its fullness along the way. Every moment is complete in itself. With art and life, there is space and opportunity at every phase for invention”. James e. Woody 2009
Like many of the nameless ones that proceeded him, “Woody” has lived most of his life outside the “box” and many of his contributions have remained a secret to most. Yet above all that he may appear to be, he is an artist, a solution-oriented problem solver; a seeker of answers to the mystery of the transformative process of growth and the metamorphosis of the world of human experiences, consciousness, and spirit. He is a humble man of considerable intellectual curiosity who ranges wide in his reading and thinking, a thinker who plumbs a world of ideas found in philosophy, psychology, anthropology, and ancient cultures, mythology, and literature to find inspiration for his work. Many consider him a seeker of answers to the mystery of the transformative process of growth and metamorphosis, seeking to give visual expression to his concepts. He employs the sources and principals of Transpersonal art and design psychology into the creation of his most unique paintings and regenerates an ability to manifest and create a portal for spiritual representations to make their way into the sensory realm for the eye to perceive as each viewer is challenged to remember their personal redeeming and mythical “inner life”.
As founder of the Be Sensitive Studio, “Woody” continues to promote the Be Sensitive Network and the first global Be Sensitive Humanitarian Day (Nov 1st 2010). Both of which originated out of his desire to help bring public awareness of the financial challenges of charitable organizations and provide funding for nonprofit organizations who are bring solutions to many of humanities challenges. Woody also has plans to attend the American Institute of Holistic Theology, his long term objective is to acquire a Doctorate within the field of Holistic Therapy, thereby inspire thought-provoking teachings and help others -bring life to a philosophy of intention, preparation and possibility.
Thank you for allowing me the time to share with you, this a brief insight to the personality of this true American Artist and meaning and purpose of his work.
- Transpersonal psychologist sheds light on rarely studied regression experiences (personspiritresearch.wordpress.com)
- NY Times Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Lesser, to Speak at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA (prweb.com)
- Transpersonal (thejungian.com)
- Integrating Shamanic Methodology into the Spirituality of Addictions Recovery Work (personspiritresearch.wordpress.com)