Nectarian Art – Deep Ecological Visions
The following article by Daniel Mirante (www.lila.info) discusses the deep ecological current within visionary art. A work in progress, to be regularly updated.
‘Nectarian’ describes a current within visionary or spirit art, it describes the work of the birds and bees as they sip nectar and distill honey from the flowering plants of primodial Gaia. It describes the rich symbiosis of life, that everything that exists, lives. And all that lives is One.
The hummingbird is the quintessential symbol of the Nectarian form of art. In Brazil the hummingbird is called the ‘beija-flor’ – kisser-of-flowers. This beautiful poetic term describes the deep sensuality of the intimate engagement with Nature. Nature is all that we know. Our entire brains and minds are Nature and generated by nature to interface with nature.
Nature is everything, the Kali-like wrath and the deep sweetness. The Nectarian vision encompasses all, and displays an all-encompassing fertility circuit in which beings can intimately couple with the cosmic and Gaian processes in non-dual ways. In the Nectarian vision we already live within a Spirit realm, a spiritual wilderness that completely transcends the division between inner and outer, imagination and reason, consciousness and matter.
Nature is the originator of language and by observing her flows we come into awareness of the cycles and patterns that govern our lives. Observance of nature is the progenitor of metaphor, and metaphor is the foundation of poetry, myth, shamanry and visual art.
Nectarian art is distinguished from most visionary art by its insistence of an anchoring within bodily and Gaian relatedness, including all our relations, the species both similar (dolphins, monkeys, cats) and dissimilar to ourselves (such as plankton, bacteria, and stellar bodies such as spiral galaxies and stars). Much visionary art purports to represent transcendent spiritual dimensions which are full of high saturation patterns, linguistic codes, esoteric symbols and glyphs. Nectarian art represents these spirit-glyphs in their immanent form, subtly informing the flowing patterns of water, bark and leaves, as well as the gothic-organic geometries of the human body, in the divine natural subtleties of colors and tones that nature effortlessly composes. There is nothing esoteric in Nectarian art, it does not depend upon an esoteric tradition for its interpretation, although the more ecologically connected participant would likely find more to appreciate in sympathy.
Rather than representing the ‘exclusive divinity’ of human self-hood the nectarian vision is selfless as a flock of birds, as wolves and deer in the chase, or a primordial tao shamaness riding the clouds. Observing the current of life on this planet one senses a vast and selfless process of intelligence, a vast metabolism, which is at the same time a vast sentience of cosmic drama, storytelling, and experience, which flows completely beyond our rigid and fragile categorical orderings.
Nectarian art affirms our journey on this planet as something to be celebrated and affirmed, rather than something to ‘transcend’ through some kind of spiritual development. It is thus similar to the left-hand path of tantric yogi’s. It is also similar in this sense in its celebration of voluptuous poly-amorous sexuality, woman, child, community and nurturing energies. We see such celebration in the work of Mark Henson, who’s psychedelic tantric paintings are reminiscent of Chola dynasty bronzes and tantric indian temple sculpture.
The ‘modern’ art establishment overlooks such art, for such an institutionalized mind finds Nectarian art embarrassing it in its lack of self-conscious irony and its unchecked enthusiasm for the experience of wonder. Despite this, many of the great artists throughout history have been Nectarian in orientation.
Nectarian art is vastly informed by dialog with plant teachers and fertile ecosystems. It is thus fundamentally shamanic and in its purest sense bioregional – reflective of the forms, traditions, and cycles innate to ones lands. Though it is true that ‘every part contains the whole’ tapping into ones locality one indeed finds ‘the all’.
In an age of climate chaos and an increasing awareness of both the beauty and fragility of ecological complexity, Nectarian art serves as a ‘medicine culture’, a prayer, affirmation and celebration of ‘the real’, the infinitely deep and ornate planetary jeweled garden in which we live our lives.
Some notable Nectarian artists :
And many many more…