Early September 2008 found me transiting between the flats and Ms P’s place. I had experimented with painting in various places and the Heath Street Flats in Johnsonville seemed to do it for me as I was there with my then gurus – Nityananda, Muktananda and Jagadguru, and also with the manaia with the oar (he of the Return of the Bird Tribes).
I had no idea that I was going to paint a greenstone Buddha when I picked up the slightly paint slopped board. Dido decided for me and the thick oil for the face hit the cardboard with a splash, I painted the outside board a simple brown to match the colouration of the Kiwi feather cloak that every South Sea Island Buddha would treasure – without any desire or attachment. A kete strap appeared and then the spindly Buddha fingers in mudra position. An hour or so had passed. The following day the gold spray can came out with several tubes of gouache ($3 for 12 at the $2 shop) and the final features of the cloak and face were created.
Buddha looked at Himself and declared I AM THAT (TAT TVAM ASÏ).
My dad turned up in the right-hand corner (from somewhere in the after-life) in the garb of a simple priest. He had even shaved his head for the photo.
Gesso, acrylic, oil, gouache, gold spray paint, 2008
Kaitiaki:, Ms P, Newlands, Aotearoa (NZ)