Who am I - exploration of self and identity through drawing, painting, photography
Drawings - abstract mindscapes in pencil, pastel, charcoal, ink, mixed media
mixed media charcoal, ink and gouache drawing on paper
Luminograms, Cameraless Art Photography by Zangmo Alexander
These photographic images were individually made in a traditional photographic darkroom without the use of camera or negatives. Each photograph, or luminogram, is a one off, unrepeatable, unique image, made by shining light through an object onto light sensitive photographic paper.
While the process itself was intensely intuitive, I was intrigued by the way my own mind selected motifs I have been working on for years through drawing and painting. They have a particular resonance for me which is very personal.
I was curious to see how people would respond to these ambigious, almost abstract, photographs, as there is often a general expectation a photograph is of something recognisable. In July 2013 I had a solo exhibition of 17 Luminograms at Beyond the Image Photographers Gallery. All images were archivally framed under non-reflective glass so that the rich depth of the blacks would be truly present.
Having observed that people often pass an image by quickly if they can't relate to it within a few seconds, the luminograms were hung at waist height with a chair in front of each image. Each images was titled as a Meditation, and viewers were invited to sit and relax, allowing themselves to be slowly absorbed into an image.
Altered Photo Album - with the yogic songs of Jetsun Milarepa
The family, with all its ambivalences, is a great source of attachment for me. I thought it would be interesting to use something very real and concrete, such as a family photo album that was started off in an old cash book by my ever-practical grandad, as a starting point for contemplating impermanence and the futility of relying on anything impermanent for lasting inner peace or lasting happiness.
Jetsun Milarepa was a highly revered meditation master and yogi who lived in Tibet in the 12th Century. He sang many songs of realisation which became famous and are still still sung today. I decided to use one of his songs, "The Eight Things to Remember" as a basis for turning my grandad's family photo album into an altered artists book that could be used for contemplation.
Woman of a Certain Age - photographs of post menopausal empty nesting invisibility
A series of photographic self portrait meditations I made at a transitional time of feeling menopausal, 50 something, increasingly socially invisible in a youth orientated culture and coming up for dose of empty nest syndrome. Aware of my clinging to the past, this was a meditation on impermanence.
Liminal. The in between state. In Tibetan, called the bardo. In this context, for me, liminal is the gap, the ungraspability of anything, while at the same time everything is there. Nothing to hold onto, which terrified me when I first experienced this, although I'm OK with it now. It's everywhere.
Abstract Paintings by Zangmo Alexander
These oil, acrylic, mixed media and watercolour paintings are mindscapes, They are spontaneous meditations, made as intuitive expressions in the present moment.
Meditation Art Oil on Canvas by Zangmo Alexander
The Stripper - performance at University of East Anglia
"Drawing the spaces between objects Is a basic exercise in the artroom. And so the spaces between the Fixations of our consciousness. Seeing the gap in our continuum And daring to enter it Into the other side The bits we normally ignore And forget in our effort to preserve our mortality Our inner space as infinite As the universe around us One and the same And yet most of the time we are asleep."
Zangmo Alexander, 1985
A collaboration with theatre director Pema Clark, first shown at the Drama Studio, University of East Anglia, UK. Adapted from journals and artwork I made over 30 years, Pema devised an experimental play telling the story of my journey from a traumatised childhood, to being a nightclub stripper in my twenties; baring my soul searching for stability and meaning through psychotherapy in my thirties, and eventually beginning to peel away layers of delusion and ego through Buddhist meditation in my forties and fifties.
Photographs by Robert Eke
My Family - exploring family relationships through photography
Taken over many years these art photographs explore the relationship between family members and myself. Always aware that the mind of the viewer will project her or his associations onto any photograph, the question 'what is the reality of this situation?' arises.
In exploring this question I find myself confronted with on one hand the complete unknowability of anything, and on the other hand my deeply felt personal responses and personal, conditioned projections.