NOTE: If you’re looking for my spiritual guidance practice, I invite you to my other website – aninvitationtolife.com
Walking our journeys
Artwork and praxis by Matthew Whitney
Art and Walking
Walking is the best way I’ve found to practice life as it is – simply being in the present moment. Much of my current work of the past several years has been rooted in the everyday practice of walking. I utilize smartphone GPS tracking apps with traditional drawing mediums as a means of excavating how a line, understood as a point moving through space, can be a mark made on paper, a series of illuminated pixels, or a body’s path made by going through a walk. These recent works resolve as 2D cartographic drawings. Making a drawing is an embodied practice involving mind, motion of hand and arm, and seeing. As I have engaged in these practices of walking and drawing, the boundaries between these practices have blurred for me. The mindful presence of the body moving through space, the observations and the noticing of life around me, the documenting of the line and seeing this line (the drawing) as the totality of the movement – they have woven together to form a contemplative practice. Walking similarly involves mindfulness, movement, and seeing. Therefore, the artmaking and the walking form a relationship between practice and experience, or praxis.
The crumpled drawings began with the cliché of crumpling up the paper upon which one had started a bad drawing or had a bad idea, to toss in the wastebasket. Upon unfolding and attempting to flatten the paper, the paper’s original sharpness and crispness is lost, and one is left with a surface that is softened and flawed. The creases mar the surface and are impossible to avoid. Rather than begin a drawing with a fresh sheet of paper, I attempted to work with the flawed body, and work within the creases, indeed making them a vital part of the composition. These creases as well leave the drawing no longer flat but textured and 3-dimensional.
In my recent paintings, I am exploring the relationship between myself and the object, as it is being made.
I am a multidisciplinary artist, spiritual guide, educator, and pedestrian. Currently I work as the Creative Director for SDI – The Home of Spiritual Companionship.
So, should you be interested in commissioned artwork, facilitating a retreat, giving a lecture, or putting together an exhibit – Please contact me with inquiries!
My walking practice, my studio practice, and my home all benefit from the land on which I live and work. I acknowledge this land as stewarded and blessed by the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People. I offer gratitude to the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe, and I support their fight for federal recognition and reparations through the Real Rent Duwamish movement.