Cupula

It occurred to me that I should make seven "Cupulas"*.

Each with a different interior. Each at a different spot on this planet.

Places of peace and introspection. Where a visitor can step out of the world for a moment. And give some fresh air to the brain and to the heart."

The inside walls of the cupula are painted with a monumental mural. A walk-in-painting. A place of awe.

And in the center of the dome a view of the sky.

Ten years ago the first cupula was built in Pulpos, 30 miles south of Lima. Soon the interior emerged: a 36 meter long and 3,60 meter high mural. It was called "Maya of Multitude". A black and white painting dealing with the delusive character of our universe.

In 2014 the second cupula was erected at the Fundacion Niños de Arco Iris in Urubamba in the sacred valley of the Inca’s. It became home of the "Born to Shine" mural.

It serves as a place where deprived children from dysfunctional families can express themselves, in dance, theater, music and visual arts. Where children and parents, guided by motivated professionals, make new bonds and hope can grow again.

Doing a mural of this enormous size is quite a journey.

It’s like climbing the Mount Everest from the wrong side. Exiting and scary. But the challenge pulls me. It is not a matter of life and death. Rather a matter of personal honor. Will I be able to paint my way through the ups and downs of the process and come out with something worthful.

Whatever that is.

I don’t set out with a sketch. The path is instinctive, intuitive. There’s a need for grand gestures. For marking the large surface with primal smutting. As I begin I have no idea what the consequences will be of black paint lines crossing the white space. Yes I do have some vague inner concept as I go along, but that refers rather to the mood of the work. I want a work to convey a certain energy. A feeling-good energy at the sharp end of the knife. But don’t ask me how that comes about.

I guess that is where my painting starts. Deep diving, crossing clear water, mud and darkness. And always at the alert for the treasure, the sign, the coincidence that announces the right direction. Usually after a period of despair some unifying visual element comes forward which, if recognized, beholds the key to the content and flow of the painting. It takes persistence and willingness to undo what already was painted to adapt to this treasure. But if I’m able to follow this thread the pain of painting will ease and the miracle of a new work will take over. This is when a mural begins to fall in place. Then it is like the wind blowing into the sails.

The painting begins to paint it self. And all trouble and doubt are forgotten. There is a great sense of gratefulness for being guided info a new work ready to be part of the world.

"Maya of Multitude" was completed in 2007, "Born to Shine" in 2011, "Primal Dream" in 2012 and "Feeding a Dream Bear" saw the light in 2015. Three more murals are waiting for realization.

Momentarily, the finished murals are rolled up and stored, awaiting an opportunity to be part of a future cupula. Locations for the next five cupulas are being considered.

Gam Klutier, April 2015, Peru

*Cupula: circular space with a dome.

 

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