Amber Brookman

Huntsville, Alabama, USA

My work has always focused on relationships between sexes, societies, fields of study, physical and metaphysical form, and ultimately, between ancient wisdom and modern science. My search for a language that could build a bridge between these dualities brought me to numerology, mathematics and geometry.

In a society where we are constantly bombarded with images, so much so that we are desensitized to violence and beauty in the world, artists are increasingly challenged to find a personal vocabulary with which to communicate to their viewers. Nothing is more universally appealing than geometric design and mathematics. My studies introduced me to design motifs that have been used by ancient societies across the globe and the ancient systems of knowledge that surrounded their use.

My personal language has evolved through sacred geometry, the golden section and Fibonacci sequence to the simplicity of the circle. Studying concepts of the play between dualities brought me to the ancient Chinese book the I Ching. In Chinese legends, the great Tai chi comes from the monad, Tai yi (great unity) and is symbolized by a circle. This “one” then produces the complimentary powers of the dyad, the yin and yang—two wholes complimenting rather than completing each other. This is the basis for the structure of the I Ching or Book of Change.

Solid (yang) and broken (yin) lines in sets of six form the hexagrams of the I Ching. Similarities can be found in the structure of DNA and in binary code and the modern computer. The connections between ancient wisdom and discoveries in modern science have inspired my study of molecular biology, DNA, quantum physics and the possibilities for our evolution to an enlightened existence.

I start paintings with journal writing as a process to empty the mind. This underpainting can be a very personal journal entry, notes from a book that I am reading, regurgitated philosophies or scientific ideas about reality and consciousness. From there I let myself explore the structures and forms that relate to these philosophies from an intuitive level, leaving behind the mind work to create a visual experience.

Layer upon layer of translucent oil, alkyd and encaustic give the paintings depth and a history, each leaving a view into its past. In some pieces I cover this under painting completely. Then, applying my system derived from the hexagrams of the I Ching, I scrape away squares, revealing small portions of what is underneath. When hung together in a grid, these produce patterns.

The circle and the square have lasted through the years as my chosen forms for communication. Their connections to my thoughts and ideas are constantly evolving and changing in personal meaning, yet never loosing their connection to the innate human appeal of their form.

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