Most people escape to my neck of the woods for a vacation. This weekend, I escaped to Toronto for a little urban culture after a long winter buried in the snow belt.
I managed to get a ticket to see Dr. Wayne Dyer speak at a conference. Dr. Dyer is an exceptional speaker. He has a remarkable ability to take difficult topics and make them seem brilliantly simple.
Dr. Dyer spoke about imagination and how the subconscious cannot distinguish between the real and the imagined. It is through this that we can train ourselves the change the way we think and allow ourselves to become fully who we are. When we turn off our ‘ego’ we are able to connect with something deeper. It is the connection between these concepts that takes the idea of purpose and intent further than simply imagining what we want. Once we are able to feel it, we can become it. The mind is a powerful thing, if only we can learn to use it!
The next day I met my mother and my sister to tour the Holman Hunt Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). William Holman Hunt (1827 – 1910) was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, along with Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Everett Millais .
The Pre-Raphaelite painters sought to return to a more medieval philosophy and approach to painting unlike the Renaissance painters represented by Raphael. Their use of symbolism, extreme detail and pure colour were hallmarks of the style. Hunt had friends that were chemists and he spent a great deal of time focusing on the materials and pigments used in his paintings. Hunt’s and his colleague’s paintings are amongst a rare group of art that has maintained their rich colour saturation over time.
Isabella and the Pot of Basil (based on the John Keats poem, Isabella, William Holman Hunt, 1868
Hunt was passionate about Literature and Poetry, painting his wife as Isabella and, in his last painting, due to failing eyesight, the Lady of Shalott.
The Light of the World, William Holman Hunt, 1854
Hunt visited the Middle East, in Egypt and Jerusalem many times and his paintings reflected subjects of the Holy Land and of Christ, painting both controversial works and a painting which hung in St. Paul’s in London, “The Light of the World”. Hunt’s intent was to create a modern iconography for the religious.
The exhibition runs at the AGO until May 10.