This is an NFT from a painting created over two years, in Cyprus, 2000-1.
Halo Of Thoughts was probably the most pivotal and important of my younger artist years - she heralded a whole new confidence and freedom, during my first year living in the Mediterranean. The original painting is 69 x 99 cm, in oil paint, oil pastel and pencil on cardboard.
Halo Of Thoughts - to me - seems to be a woman who knows how to trust herself, her place in the world, her power, her ability to navigate reality. She might even be letting go of her need to hold onto safe ground, to keep herself small and protected: she is striding gently-but-firmly into her beingness, unafraid of showing her vulnerability, her youth.
This image in particular - though not the first - was one that attracted much projection from the immature mind, of 'pornography'. I had strong conversation with an academic in Nicosia, who had written an expo catalogue for the group show that the painting was in. His written words referred to adolescent sexual awakening, and to the 'orgy' around her head. I asked him to point out what aspects of the figures in the halo symbolised sexual excess to him, but he was already smirking arrogantly about how it was 'obviously sexual'. This comment stayed with me for a long time, as it was entirely contrary to my energetic intention and my own sense of the meaning in the painting.
In fact, her halo around her head originated from my living at the time in an artists' commune: sleeping, eating and working in close proximity to a group of international artists. The contrast of this experience for me was intense, having lived and worked in relative isolation for several years previously.
She began as a lone figure in front of a starry sky, then the multiple figures around her head began as a loose group, directly related to the feeling of psychic overwhelm in sharing life-work space with others... Nearing completion, the 'halo' actually was a means of containing the figures - tidying them up, like keeping my mind safe by having a boundary.
I think that this artwork was the first in which I began to paint from a deeper place of innocence, strength, confidence: I didn't yet seem to know these qualities - even though something that I was connecting with evidently did - and this was the beginning of trusting the deeper flow - of integrated knowing. I began to sense that it might be possible to cultivate a state of being beyond the pain and tensions of the everyday.