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TIFFANI GYATSO

Wild Wise Wind

Artist Statement

As a child i grew up on a ranch on the hills of the Mata Atlântica in Brazil, where we had a few horses. I was so in love with horses that i was drawing them obsessively… and so i started to learn a lot about drawing, but mainly because of my passion for such creatures. Later i was able to recognise that i was actually attracted not only for the animal itself, but mainly for its energy: strong, fast, wild, gracious, just so free. Its image always brought this in my life. 

Then, I stopped for many years to draw horses as i started my studies in sacred art and painting in India where i learned many things... specially about energy and symbology. 

 

It was when i became a mother at age 25 that i found myself in an identity crises, going thru a heart break, divorce, motherhood and all the things that simply happens one after the other when you are just feeling all wrong. I went to the bottom of my misery and identified myself with the negative aspect. 

 

The feelings of rage, passion, guilt, jealousy and sadness were running wild inside my body - i felt in my body like an electricity which wouldn’t be turned off. I felt that my body wanted to move big, fast, chaotic and messy, so i followed what it wanted and i stretched a large canvas where i could make big strokes, liberating that energy thru movement. Suddenly the shape of horses came back to my paintings, the similar energy was running inside of me, wild, very wild, but so angry and so lost… using its strength to kick and bite, the same as my emotions were consuming me and causing hurt. 

 

The first figures in my painting, was a girl taming a horse by force, pleading it to obey, trying to control it by all means. And there it was: girl and horse desperate, mind and heart having a fit! I was able to understand this by the process itself, not following an image or a symbolic meaning, i painted what my body urged and so when i was done, i could see it like a mirror, hearing it also what was going on and slowly understand better my emotions. Many years later i went on a true quest to learn more the aspect of the body consciousness - which is the first that feels and does not lie. The memory of our ancestors cannot be ignored, the nose of my grand grand mother sits in middle of my face! Our traumas are stored in our muscles, our habits define the way we walk and talk and a lot can be understood if we learn to listen to the body and train a new and more conscious way of flowing. 

 

My first attempt was to try to do ‘the right thing’, because logically doing the right things in life, things will turn out just right. But that formula was defiantly not working, because my horse was getting seriously mad. If the horse, or the emotions could have a word, they would have told me, “i’m telling you what i want, why are doing the opposite?” and i would reply dramatically, “because is the right thing to do!” 

 

Now what happens when we follow only reason, is that we lose touch with the horse’s heart, we lose touch with the wisdom of our emotions, which is like a sacred flame keeping the heart warm and joyful, being a torch that enlightens the beauty of things in life. When the flame gets out of control, it can be very dangerous, it burns everything! So we try to damp the fire, and many times we simply kill it, it becomes gray, cold, insensitive, dark, sad, but silent eventually. Just doing the ‘right thing’ is not bringing balance to the fire, is just struggling and forcing the horse to obey, to follow orders, to delivery society what makes the system happy hopping you will eventually be acceptable. But who cares, who even know about your sacred flame if not you? To lose and to find the sacred flame is what i call today the birth of intuitive wisdom, concepts and intellectual dogmas can satisfy one’s ego, but when you follow the path of Intuitive Wisdom, one must learn how to trust the path of not-knowing, dissolving one’s mind with the nature of space. When one makes the world as small as a thought, his reality because tight. When you follow the path of freedom, one has to let it go so unlimited natural space can manifest with no struggle whatsoever. 

 

To be wild and not wise, is madness, is burning down the house, is losing touch with the sacred flame. The flame in your heart is what keeps you excited about life, passionate and curious, kind and playful, trustful and creative. But today i can say that to meet this fire one has to lose it. And thru the realisation that something is missing, one finds out what it is and sets into an internal quest to learn how to light it up again and take care. You must lose it, this is the journey of the hero. Is sounds contradicting, but who ever went down that way, knows it. And it also doesn’t guarantee anything, each one has a different story. I felt the initiation of a girl becoming a woman where she sat in the dark side of a new moon and had a little death - and so a kind of mystery was revealed and was able to come out more wise, more intimate with the source of her flame in her heart, more in tune with nature’s rhythm of thunder’s rage and the subtle sweetness in every flowers. To be comfortable with silence and not afraid to scream.

 

A key was turned when i painted another large canvas but my body was moving slower, my eyes wished to see softer colours with bigger patches of flowing paint where a woman sits with open hands and closed eyes and a wild horse comes to eat from her hand; the difference is that she is not forcing it to do anything and the horse comes out of pure wish to engage. Once done, this was entitled, “No Struggle”. It was that painting that taught me to stop fighting the waves in a storm, but to open my arms and trust the nature of all things in this dualistic world - the impermanent nature of all things. Everything passes. There is nothing one can do, no desperation, no control and no prayer will change that. Just open to the vast ocean of the not-knowing, taking care of one’s own flame, doing what feels right and not what is told is right, being present moment by moment. This is the path of being wild, wise and free as the wind.

 

But to Realise all that does not mean everything will become predictable, to live with the horse’s energy and walk the intuitive wisdom path, is about not falling asleep, is about maintaining awareness, to be able to navigate with all climates that appears. 

 

This process began eight years ago and I never stopped drawing horses, as a kind of journal of emotions, like a glimpse in the mirror. Feeling how life always brings us surprises, but knowing how to ride it, knowing its nature it's a conscious decision and there are some ways to know your own emotions and know how to ride them without suffering. Art is definitely my saddle. 

 

 

Wild Wise Wind, is the name of this exhibition, a series of large and smaller canvas and many drawings with paintings and collage made on paper. This was never exhibited before as it is constantly in development for the last eight years, though i have a strong feeling they just wanna run wild and free now, wherever it takes them!

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