Indra’s Net at the Las Cruces Museum of Art


Jean Reece Wilkey, Mango on brass candlestick, oil on panel, 4 x 4 inches

In August I will be showing work as one of the 6 artist members of the Praxis Collective, in a collaborative installation called Indra’s Net. The show opens on 3 August and runs through September 8 at the Las Cruces Museum of Art in New Mexico. All six artists are contributing their individual 4 x 4 inch paintings and drawings that will be interspersed along a grid pattern some 36 feet long and 4 feet high. The concept of the work draws on the idea of Indra’s net, the metaphorical story from Buddhist tradition that explains the interconnectivity and interdependence of all things.

Stephen Mitchell, in his book The Enlightened Mind, wrote:

The Net of Indra is a profound and subtle metaphor for the structure of reality. Imagine a vast net; at each crossing point there is a jewel; each jewel is perfectly clear and reflects all the other jewels in the net, the way two mirrors placed opposite each other will reflect an image ad infinitum. The jewel in this metaphor stands for an individual being, or an individual consciousness, or a cell or an atom. Every jewel is intimately connected with all other jewels in the universe, and a change in one jewel means a change, however slight, in every other jewel.

This idea of interdependence reminds me of the ‘butterfly effect’ in chaos theory, which postulates that slight changes to initial conditions can cause great differences in outcomes. Flapping butterfly wings in one part of the world can alter the atmosphere enough to provoke a chain of events that cause a tornado to appear, or cause it not to.

In thinking of our everyday interactions with people, this collaboration is like a microcosm of life’s  encounters with others, leading to or detracting from our efforts to live honest, vital and peaceful lives. It’s all about consequences.

Praxis Collective artists, Indra’s Net, detail view

Please come to the show, enjoy the art and refreshments and lively conversation. After all, who knows what the effect might be?