The terminology “organic” has entered our brains as something that tells us to go back to nature. Many countries and cultures have since long embraced “organic” lifestyles, “organic” foods, “organic” agriculture, “organic” cosmetics and so on. The organic thinking has a strong connection to environmental awareness and health in common.
But there are other aspects of “organic” thinking we have to embrace and understand. The contemporary visual artist Mantra expresses in this collection two important intellects found in humanity: The Natural Intellect and The Acquired Intellect. Natural Intellect is what we do with our instincts, what nature tells us to do and the skills nature gave us. Mantra’s example of Jimmy Hendrix is an outstanding element of natural instinct since Hendrix had never studied music but his natural skill created unique guitar sounds. In other words Hendrix had the “organic mind”. The cultural problem occurring today is that we are drowning in too much acquired intellect spread by consumerism and media such as TV addiction and having to “keep up with the Jonses” syndrome in a materialistic way. The end result being humanity loosing its organic mind concept.
However some ways of acquired intellect goes back to natural intellect such as yoga which was created by humanity in India around 5000 years ago as a form of exercise bringing mind and body together in a spiritual unity. We can therefore state that some unique intellects are both.
Looking back at the natural instincts of Hendrix who not only was a talent beyond any musical education, a similarity between his phenomena and the essence of yoga is therefore proven in Mantra’s collection of visual organic mind explanation. We also should remember that Hendrix suffered from manic depression (bipolar disorder), a mental disease of highs and lows often found amongst artists and people of creative character. It is open for dialogue if his organic mind could not cope with an overload of acquired intellect by his surrounding society. It is clear that creative minds will almost be eaten by too much acquired intellect as many artists will agree to this statement.
Mantra wakes us up by inserting leaves into his painted forms to tell us not to forget our organic skills, minds and feelings. He uses his own language of symbols as a sign for multicultural togetherness and dialogue.
“Organic Mind” will change our aspects towards life in an artistic controversial point of view.
By Luki Prang
Luki holds a PhD in South East Asian Antropology and has lived and worked in Lombok, Indonesia for 10 years. She is an Australian citizen born in Europe by a German mother and an Indian father and has traveled extensively already in her childhood being exposed to different cultures’ art and tradition.
In Lombok she focused on arts development for selected local talented artists and opened their doors for international connections.
In 2010 Luki facilitated Mantra’s volunteer program with DAADA, the Australian organization for disabled artists, in Perth, Western Australia.