The God within
I am not conventionally religious. Temples and churches are buildings I rarely enter. But understanding Vedic teachings and the symbolism of Murti's have led me to believe in something else. A spirituality and a consciousness within.
This collection of paintings attempts to express this idea that divinity, or spiritual awakening, is to be found in the self. Within and not without.
Just as Lord Ganesh is a symbol of gravity, he relates to the Muladhara Chakra, the energy centre at the base of our spine. And like the powerful forces that bind together the atomic systems, protons, neutrons, electrons, quanta, quarks and other sub-atomic particles, this awareness works deeply within us, within our spiritual sphere, within the profound depths of our mind itself.
As Swami Vivekananda so eloquently summarizes - "Each soul is divine. The goal is to manifest this divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal, either through work, worship or phsycic control. This is the whole of religion. Doctrines, or dogmas, or rituals, or temples, or forms, are but secondary details".
Lord Ganesh and I.
Lord Ganesh, Ganesha, Ganapati or Pillayar has been a constant in my life for the last 28 years. Not as a religious deity so much, but instead, as a philosophical template. One that has deeply changed and affected my life over so many years.
It all began, in the early 90's, as a study of the iconography and symbolism surrounding Lord Ganesh. He has always been known as the God of beginnings and endings, which could explain some part of my fascination with him and the iconography that describes him. My life has been unusually full of beginnings and endings – good ones that ended badly, bad ones that ended well.
Whatever the reason, over all these years, I found increasing solace and self-realization in the process of my painting. And now, after 28 years of working and painting, with five solo exhibitions and over 130 paintings sold, I have decided to retire from my long standing role as an art director/creative director in the communication industry, and plunge in to a new beginning. As a full time artist at Ganeshism Studio, tasked with visualizing and making visible the luminous energy of a deity, a superimposition of reality, whose force, it is said, drives human consciousness to evolve from its lowest to its highest manifestations.
Ganeshism Studio Gallery
38, Rodrigo Mawatha, Nawala, Colombo, Sri Lanka
+94 77 3519237
Life at Ganeshism Studio.
Ganeshism Studio is an oasis in the city, a studio and gallery built around an indoor garden. The studio inhabitants include artist Mahen Chanmugam his wife (and boss) Rachel and the next generation; Leah and Manu. Other residents include cats, dogs, bats, tropical fish and water monitors.
What others say...
"A cozy little gallery in an open expansive colorful home. Mahen talks about the Ganesh symbolism and the concepts behind his paintings. Go to be surrounded by lovely people and beautiful, bright art. " (Shanika R., Sri Lankan)
"My breath was taken away from the second that I entered the gallery/home. A secret garden with colours to fill the senses make this place so wonderfully inspirational. I found the art to be both meaningful and enlightening and visited many times! " (Tatyana M, Greece)
"Mahen is passionate about his art and will gladly share this passion with you. The paintings are amazing. Very nice family, beautiful gallery in a beautiful house." (Wanderer, France)