This article was originally published in NZ newsletter Creative Dharma
CD#13 Fiction, art, teaching dharma Nov 30
Comment Share December 2021 We announce the recipient of the second Creative Dharma grant, report on our October online meeting, and listen in on conversations between Nelly Kaufer and Linda Modaro, teachers of reflective meditation. Plus, Erica Dutton shares observations from a five-day workshop for meditation teachers, and Winton Higgins on the dharma of historical fiction writing ends this newsletter.
CREATIVE. DHARMA. CULTURE. Supporting Stanley Ave Studio
Recipient of the second Creative Dharma grant, Hartmut Veit is a German/Australian contemporary artist who has been practising meditation for over 25 years. A socially-engaged artist, Hartmut predominately works site-specific with sculpture, installations and performance.
As an experienced meditator as well as being an artist, Hartmut believes it is imperative that we find sustainable solutions that respond to the challenges of the worldwide climate emergency. For him, building community is key: in 2009 he co-founded Melbourne Insight Meditation and is president of this not-for-profit, secular dharma community.
Bringing together dharma and creativity Working at the intersection of dharma practice and creativity, his current practice looks at how meditation practice and the dharma can help artists be present and engage more deeply with the world through their art. He also examines how creative arts can be informed by the dharma to enable a deeper connection to the natural world, and lead to more wholesome sustainable ways of living.
With this in mind, he has created Stanley Ave Studio, an art, exhibition and performance space that offers regular art, yoga and mindfulness meditation classes, as well as a new, weekly Melbourne insight meditation sitting group.
At Stanley Ave Studio, Hartmut intends to build an inclusive dharma community with a supportive environment that nourishes creativity, research, personal growth and transformation. In essence, it will be a sangha of like-minded artists and dharma friends interested in the modern application of dharma practice to contemporary life and culture.
Within the context of the current climate crisis, Stanley Ave Studio will integrate the imagination and creative arts into contemporary dharma practice as an authentic path to deeply inquire into the nature of the mind and lived experience. The intention is to reconnect and transform our relationship with self, other, and the living world.
In addition to offering art, yoga and mediation classes, Hartmut will be inviting like-minded artists, researchers, writers, curators, dharma teachers and performers to present their own projects, in addition to presenting his own art practice and research regarding dharma and creativity. This may include happenings, special events, workshops, day art/meditation retreats and art exhibitions that use the venue for one-off eco-art performances in response to the climate emergency.
The proposed work He will use the Creative Dharma grant to stage and video document a new eco-art performance within the main gallery/dharma hall of Stanley Ave Studio. Performed in front of a live audience and broadcast on Zoom, the event will be video recorded, edited and later presented online on the Stanley Ave Studio Youtube channel to increase the reach of the initial performance.
This as yet untitled new work and performance will be a homage to the Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga, an abstract painter, zen monk and first-generation member of the postwar artists collective Gutai Art Association – a contemporary art movement that was set up in the 1950s.
What does it mean to restage the performance practice of this artist in the time of Covid and within the context of dharma practice?
Through the performance, Hartmut will explore dharma meditation practices and ritual action using his entire body as a paint brush and vehicle to express the relationship between body, mind and matter in order to enquire into how contemporary artistic expression and eco-performances may be inspired by, but also inform a creative and authentic approach to dharma practice.
He was interviewed for ABC Radio National by Michael Cathcart for ‘The Stage Show’ about an earlier work, in which he employed brown coal as an art medium to question the nature of human relationships with the geological resource material, coal. Their conversation starts 40 minutes into this programme: