Watkins Body Mind Spirit Issue 51
Artist Alexander de Cadenet speaks with Zena about her amazing experiences and work.
It was a series of events from Zena’s personal life, including the passing of her lover in a motorcycle accident in 2000 that eventually brought about a complete physical collapse. What followed was a journey of seeking answers and a way forward in life. Debilitated from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Zena explored all manner of solutions.
One of the main things that Zena credits with facilitating her recovery was meeting Amma, the spiritual leader, in 2007. During Amma’s London ‘darshan’ (the transmission of pure, vital energy and unconditional love through the physical experience of hugging). Eventually, following a four month stay in Amma’s ashram, Zena was restored to physical, mental and a deeper spiritual health. After an 8year hiatus from making art, she was about to begin again!
The actual incident of what we may call the ‘satori’ moment for Zena, was in Palenque, Mexico, amongst the ruins: "I saw that all of creation is made of minute vibrating particles of energy and as the rainforest dissolved before my eyes, I merged into the oneness of consciousness”.
What emerged from this experience of a deeper dimension of existence was Zena’s ‘quantum particle’ paintings and an evolution into her Seeing the Light drawings and prints.
Seeing the Light is a pen on paper work that shows a series of star like structures regularly spaced within a grid that are all interconnected and shine out from a black background. This work is not only beautifully crafted and balanced but communicates, on both esoteric and exoteric levels, Zena’s personal philosophy of art, which has emerged from her encounter with light itself.
Transformation is a particularly apt metaphor for Zena’s own transformation and emergence into the light from the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome that had negatively impacted her life for so many years. In this work, Zena celebrates the wonderment and beauty of nature with the emergence of consciousness into a form of living beauty within the natural world.
The image of the butterfly is made of an elegant jigsaw of biomorphic forms that echo a pointillist technique, though it should be noted that under closer examination, the shape of each of Zena’s ‘dots’ are unique forms and fillies with multi-coloured swirls of paint. Echoing quantum physics, this close up view of the butterflies form looks like a random collection of forms, yet from a distance the overall form of the butterfly becomes apparent.
On her ‘quantum particle’ works she says: “My work explores the relationship between the form and the formless dimensions of reality, the magic and mystery of life”.
Zena’s art is a vehicle for her to share her experiences of life with the world. She says: “My life has been one of awakening and transformation: my creativity is one of raising consciousness by bringing awareness to a deeper reality”.
I asked Zena what “merging in the oneness of consciousness” meant to her. She replied: “It was an indescribable bliss…It is the transmission of truth, a deeper dimension of being revealed, a deeper reality, a recognition of the space between forms. It is an expression of vibration and energy. My practice of painting is itself a meditation.”
MEET THE ARTIST:
ZENA began painting after spiritual experiences in the Mayan ruins and mountains of Mexico, where she saw that all of creation is made of minute, vibrating particles of energy. These experiences established her connection with the natural world and were the beginning of her life as a creative. Inspired and informed by these revelations, her work explores the relationship between the form and formless dimensions of reality, the magic and mystery of life. On the Web: www.artistzena.com