Born in Wil, a tiny northeastern city in Switzerland that is almost entirely devoted to Catholicism, Astrid Fitzgerald evolved to escape the confines of her religious dogma becoming nearly the absolute definition of a Renaissance woman.
Before our introduction of Ms. Astrid Fitzgerald, I feel obligated to admit that by now, I cannot be any more awed.
Astrid’s art reflects more than the creative spirit of humanity, its underlying notions of a just God, mathematical laws, and at times stubborn logic. Astrid Fitzgerald has learned to reinvent the ancient golden mean, the emergent spark of the universe, and the unity we, all of us, are searching for throughout our lives. In my own creative process of writing this article, I’ve cultivated a deep appreciation for number, form, and particularly Astrid herself. As with many great artists, Fitzgerald has yet to receive all the innumerable gratuities that a consciously focused & creatively aware society grant toward recognizing profound art; personally, I doubt her unique contributions to the artistic world will be largely recognized in their time –as most great art is rarely, if ever, appreciated during the lifetime of its crafter.
The beauty of Astrid’s creation lies in its constant transition, information, and subtle development. Besides writing, Astrid draws, paints, works with pastels, collages, and constructs. Her work holds onto the delicate edge of transcending the material realm of her modern day contemporaries, allowing the manifestation of a style that is all too entirely her own to name, yet her inspiration is clear. Behind the great body of work she’s crafted draws a recollection of the human spirit from the ancient Greek Pythagoreans, Confucius, and the ancient art of Vedanta. Her perennial paint manages quite a lovely integration of East and West.
Let it be known that I fell deeply in love with Astrid’s art upon first sight of it. The greatness of an art for Art has an overwhelming effect upon the initiation of the unaware.
To be honest, it has taken me awhile to write this piece for if I had not taken time away from my examinations of every surface and depth of each piece of Astrid’s art, I most certainly would have not had the time to write. In allotting myself some space, I’ve found a tranquil sphere to base my writing. This, I hope, will be beneficial for the reader and assist any support garnered for the artist. Had I not paused in my high ambitions to share Astrid and her marvelous work with the world, I most certainly would have ruined the concentration of any reader through an overtly abused spew of misused exclamatory marks lending itself to an initial draft predisposed as overly burnt toast.
Staring at that Which Stirs
My first encounter with Astrid Fitzgerald was quite synchronous.
It began in a dream.
In lucid awakening, my hands stumbled about the darkness of the room trying to grasp my phone out of the recollection of where I’d set it before falling asleep. When my manhandles finally locked in on the familiar rectangular frame, I quickly jotted down a word I’d remembered hearing in a dream right before being woken up. When morning came, I did a quick Google search of the unfamiliar word, and wham! Search results led me to a book Astrid Fitzgerald had written entitled Being Consciousness Bliss. Now, the irony of this situation is that the subject matter of this particular book relates directly, in fact specifically, to an interest that I am currently researching, studying, and writing about. Satchitananda, a Hindu-based conception that explores the subjective nature of the world, its realities, and the essence of a Brahmic-based philosophy. Digging through the search engine trail, I eventually stumbled upon Astrid’s art, her personal website, and various online galleries where I spent some time browsing her work.
At first, the desperate materialism of my mind’s mechanistic twist & grind wanted it all. Art for the sake of having it, hanging it, and nothing more or less than property posted as a plaque. It was an all-consuming purge on the morality of my mental sphere and I needed to step back. Breathe. Something wasn’t right. It was as if an inner Logos had unraveled barely enough for us, in our rollings about the world, to find each other. Together, at last! And yet, here I was ignoring this beautiful moment for the sake of personal possession. However this chaotic connector found us, it was I alone staring at the computer screen beckoning for a lasting taste of the imagination. But, what remains? Surely not this framed art I wanted to use as decorum to alleviate the bareness of white walls of space throughout my apartment. As if that would satisfy my urge. Inspiration strikes us all from time to time and yet without sufficient attention we can easily play deficit to a pristine moment of universal unraveling, as if it were a mere terrestrial propriety.
Through perfect symmetries, rounded edges, and the blending shades of mysteriously placed lavender lines, Astrid has found ingenious ways of making swirls straight, twisting triangles in their strict geometric form, and driving solid spheres to the point of dissolution.
From afar, her art may look simple and easily hand drawn with a straight edge, but a keen eye will quickly see that there is much more depth to Astrid’s work than what’s first imagined. Behind each piece lies a wholesome, untold essence. Meticulous patience, virtue formed, steady hands, parabolas of potential, and various peculiar qualities which altogether may seem invalid hint at an unquestionable uncertainty behind the drawer’s hand.
Intuitions of The Primal Forces
“The images arose while meditating, that is, “holding in mind” a particular quality such as infinite silence or infinite dynamism. Afterwards, I would begin to sketch whatever came flooding into my mind’s eye.”
Astrid depicts various abstract symbols throughout her work.
Personally, I enjoy her online art exhibit entitled Intuitions of the Primal Forces. The 8-minute video is set to a background of light piano music accompanied by a significance of Carl Jung quotes which point the viewer toward a comprehension of the artist’s motif. Astrid’s collection on the Unified Field is an exploration of consciousness, the transparent balance behind nature, and the holistic dynamism of its every form.
Within the first two minutes of the video gallery, the viewer sees various depictions which can be accurately interpreted as a representation of the Buddhist notion of Dharmakaya. Less widely known as Adi-Buddha (in the esoteric texts of Vajrayana Buddhism) and the fourth state of conscious known as turiya (which is actually the word that was spoken in my dream) in Advaita Vedanta, Dharmakaya represents primordial peace, eternal co-relation, and non-duality. In these works of pastel, Astrid plays with the duality of form & consciousness through use of various depictions of the Taijitu by transforming their internal symmetries, melting Yin into Yang, and abstracting the inseparable, inconceivable harmony between them into an arrangement devoid of duality.
Like the image above, Astrid explores the structure of what appears to be an eye. This archetype can be seen a few times throughout the video. In the background of this image, as well as the majority of her other intuitional soulscapes, the clarity of Tathata (Zen’s thusness) can be seen. Astrid’s depiction of suchness is a critical part to nearly all her portraits of the primal force. Later in the gallery we see that even the more glittery, statically-illuse Tathata manages perceptual revolution. What was once veiled as unchangeable transforms into a continuous process of change lending to the view that even the artist herself may have touched upon her own illumination.
Striking the Suchness of Simplicity
At first sight, Astrid’s art looks too simple.
As any Taoist master will tell you, simplicity is the ultimate form of complexity.
I realized that there was much more to her art than mere imitation, old logical rules, and formulas learned in boring seventh grade geometry classes. Astrid’s complete originality lies in her cosmic approach. Each image is designed to express the height of becoming in a single instant –framed. Her designs achieve a certain coordination and concentrated balance, or what Buddhist’s refer to as samadhi –a sort of balanced, absorbed concentration, and this can equally be seen throughout her works. Suchness expressed clearly in each form.
As a philosopher artist (according to Roger Lipsey) and as the art’s creator, I’m sure Astrid realizes the depth of her art. Whether she cares about being properly recognized, I assure you that she deserves a spot in the history books. Tomorrow’s art is here and whether the world as a whole is ready for it or not, Astrid and her creations stand as another tale before their time –in fact, outside the temporal.
The greatest discovery in our observations of each piece of art is the prophetic paint’s ability to demonstrate how behind we, society as a whole, truly is. There is no longer any glory in killing each other to survive over plant matter, destroying the innocent lives of human beings over religious conflict like the never-ending situation in Gaza, oppressive militarism, global Holocaust for the sake of short term profit, and economic arbitrage must stop. This is why we desperately need to realize the creative capacity within ourselves, this is why we need more Astrids or at least her art to show us how to expand and to motivate us to overcome our petty, territorial instincts allowing us to open to those inner, non-temporal depths we are capable of experiencing, sharing, and that each one of us must eventually reach in order for the search to stop. Let us then walk toward the potentials we are capable of achieving and set a path to unlocking them.
On That Which Never Stops
Astrid’s art is about realization. The realization of a wholeness above and below searching, inside and out ourselves, apart and together forms, and the interlocking connection of an us, of a humanity that erases borders, race, religion, and self-established barriers that aim to prevent an actual unity from becoming. Our especial habits must be overcome. Art is Astrid’s answer. It’s function aims to enlighten the individual from his/her self-confined state of individual containment, cultural protection, and financial net of safety allowing consciousness to unfold through a series of visual stimulation signaling a reliance of greater, natural, logical, and underlying order we can actually have faith in. This is not mere belief, but the transcendence of all beliefs.
Surely this force is as unspeakable as Astrid’s art is.
Yet, for centuries men and women have tried to express that unseen force to the public, a feat most assuredly beyond all word.
Still and so, let us become all we should be in all our utter attempts to express the inexhaustible.
Maybe, it’s the experience of an experience about experience that wants to be experienced.
Certainly, I don’t know.
But, if I did and this is, I believe, what Astrid’s art is trying to accomplish, it’s that sharing our experience of that glittery guild which coats the world so finely in an all-encompassing cloud of golden dust has become so mysterious, so illusive that we have forgotten it is there simply out of repetitive ignorance. We are so accustomed to seeing it, day in and day out, that change as a constant appears motionless. Her art reminds us of our common bound, our gloom & doom, and our only certainty. Don’t you see what we all share? Right there, in front and all around. You’re standing on the peak! And it’s dissolving before your eyes. With every turn of the cheek. So little time is left to do so much with. And we begin again each day the battle.
Though I hope I have in no way under served the quality of her mastercraft in my attempt at clarifying how beautiful her art stains the canvas and how magnificent our lives can be. Her courageous and necessary attempt to secure the chaotic unknown into an orderly fashion which can then be remotely framed, hung on the wall as decor, and serve as a friendly reality check before we walk out the door each day to serve the technocentric world.
Moreover, it’s a reminder to be human. It’s a reminder about chance, uncertainty, and the misfortune we may all be subjected to suffer. It’s about us being an integral part of Nature and the inherited limitations of creaturehood. It’s about a sacrament towards the whole – an attempt at easing our imagined hole. It’s about living in a greater paradigm and with greater purpose and with greater awareness than our ancestors were accustomed to and dissecting our measly projections of how we think the world works and our ability to control it to something greater. It’s more than where it came from, it’s where we are going, it’s where we always are.
Astrid is the definition of a conscious creator, a person who by judge of her character has touched upon actuality itself, that which is beyond self. As she continues to expand her potential as an artist, we see in her art a place that most of us have yet to reach, explore, or realize. This moment of absorption leaves of us only with a choice: do we favor the vices of accretion or the incentive to change? Astrid’s art assures us longevity is possible and that we too, if we allow ourselves expanse, can most certainly become more than our imaginations.
If you’d like to support Astrid, check out her personal site, galleries, on Amazon, and this.
If you enjoyed this piece, than please be sure to read her interview with Geoform.