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January 14 , 2010

Luminous Bodies: Circles of Mourning

Volume 2, Number 3


Luminous Bodies is a work of celebration and mourning in two volumes of 45 watercolors in each volume. These images explore the spiritual and cultural forces that continuously vie to originate and then heal the rift between the body and the soul.

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In this volume, the Foreward, Robin Hamlyn states, “In order to produce art like Melinda Camber Porter’s Luminous Bodies you have to be like William Blake. You have to be like Melinda Camber Porter. You have to be absolutely fearless.” –Robin Hamlyn, Senior Curator, Tate Britain Collections, 1780-1860 and world renowned William Blake expert.

Inspired by many religious traditions of celebrations and mourning, from The Tibetan Book of the Dead to Native American mourning rituals, the series of drawings is, in actuality, a spiritual journey begun by Melinda Camber Porter a few days after the death of a loved one. The journey is narrated in drawings and in epigrammatic prose poetry inscribed within each watercolor. There is a strong "documentary" aspect to the work, which attempts to record faithfully the actual process of loss and resurrection of the lover in celebration and mourning.

But whereas in much Judeo-Christian philosophy the body is seen as the weak vehicle, the Achilles heel that catapults man into sin, Luminous Bodies proposes a world view that gives back to the body its sacrosanct nature. Human ecstasy, when body and soul unite, is the experience which is perpetually recollected and meditated upon and that serves as the pivotal visual perspective. From this vantage point a philosophical viewpoint of existence is etched, both visually [the watercolors] and in poetry [the text inscriptions].

The first volume is Luminous Bodies: Circles of Celebration. The second volume is Luminous Bodies: Circles of Mourning.

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