Artist Henri van Bentum (1929-2022) created several paintings inspired by Light, many decades before we had astrophotography. He was a visionary artist who saw things from within. For this reason, we will be following NASA's "Helio Big Year", see details below.
This week my quasi-spoof, quasi-serious document, called "The Society for the Protection of Snooker Tables - An Endangered Species", was hung in the Billiards Room of the historic Union Club of British Columbia. My beloved partner of fifty-one years, artist and keen snooker player, Henri van Bentum, (1929-2022) would have enjoyed it.
The Deployment of Henri's Reef off the coast of Vancouver Island - Artist Henri van Bentum, 1929-2022
Here are some screen captures from a video by Living Reef Memorial of the deployment of Henri's Reef exactly two weeks ago, on May 27th.
More details about the Living Reef can be found in the earlier post, published on the same day (scroll below).
Celebrating Light: A Journey Through the Organiverse with Works by Rabindranath Tagore ("Gitanjali") and Henri van Bentum
As a way of introducing the Gitanjali / Organiverse project (see post of February15th ), we've linked up with the UNESCO International Day of Light 2023 to introduce one of Rabindranath Tagore's poems (#57, "Light") and one of Henri van Bentum's 'Organiverse' mandalas (#57 of #100 set). The site has a link to the full project, encompassing all 100 mandalas and 100 poems. https://vanbentum.wixsite.com/journey
Special Edition of "Gitanjali and Beyond" devoted to Henri van Bentum's "Organiverse" mandalas and featuring a reading of the "Gitanjali" song offerings (poems) by Rabindranath Tagore
Cover of "Gitanjali and Beyond", Issue No. 7, Rabindranath Tagore, Henri van Bentum
Today the Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies published its annual eJournal, "Gitanjali & Beyond", devoted to a project marrying the 100 Organiverse mandalas by Henri van Bentum (1929-2022) with the 'Song Offerings' (Gitanjali) of Rabindranath Tagore. In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature for "Gitanjali".
The concept and production of this project was done by Henri's friend Brian W.E. Johnson, who reads Tagore's poems.
Here is the link.
"When Natasha van Bentum first wrote to me about her husband, Henri van Bentum’s 100 Mandalas (created in 1972) which have been recently structured as reflections on Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali poems, I was intrigued. I asked Natasha to send me samples of this project, and she was willing to send me the entire opus of Organiverse and Gitanjali.
The compositions, completed while Henri and Natasha lived on the island of Madeira, are done in pointillism in water colour. They are intricate and intense. The idea of mandalas with their Hindu and Buddhist symbolism, signify a universal search for release from suffering, reaching out towards an unutterable joy.
. . . Henri’s mandalas, with their perfect circular pattern, encompass and visualise worlds that unfold from the first blue representation of the pondering universe and go on to explore and explode in colours that come together like the rising sun, the colours of the rainbow, unfurling petals, swirling dreams, bursting stars, crystallising shapes which are infinite in their possibilities and suggestiveness, till the final ones that speak of life’s fulfilment reflected in the image of the rising sun, meditative and expectant in its promise of life’s continuity.
. . . Henri’s positive approach to life in spite of the many obstacles he encountered, his courage and success are apparent in these mandalas which defeat the idea of chaos with their cosmic energy that is both transformative and transporting. They represent life itself in its many manifestations and speak directly to the viewer with an appeal that is mesmerising.