top of page

The beauty of what is alive (2017), Keiyona C.Stumpf

The infinitely vast repertoire of nature’s phenomena holds a stupendous beauty and complexity that can be traced down to the tiniest detail.
I have always admired that deeply, along with the question of which creative principle is providing these phenomena with their ultimate form and is letting them emerge and vanish in their aliveness.

Even those forms that might cause a feeling of disgust or even dread can unfold their beauty to the closely beholding eye.

For me, in nature there is nothing that is “ugly”. Forms that simultaneously cause opposing internal reactions – like admiration and repulsion – I find especially fascinating, for they allow us to experience this feeling of vibrating aliveness within ourselves.

I think that which the perceptions trigger within us is closely intertwined with previous and individual experiences and imprinting.

So for me the obvious question is: Isn’t the eye that is “eyeballing” things the actual “artist”, and the moment of seeing the moment of “creating”? Therefore beauty would not be the outcome of perfection, but some kind of quality or inner principle underlying everything that is alive and only having an effect on the perceiver through the transmission of the senses.

“Beauty is within the eye of the beholder” – as they say.

Being touched by a special kind of beauty in nature may awaken a deep longing within us. Fear of the unknown or a threat could indicate a deeper fear within us – maybe a fear that, if being traced down to its roots, would ultimately be a fear of a much greater beauty demolishing all familiar categorizations?

For, ultimately, man and nature are not facing each other as two opposites, separated from each other. Nature isn’t just the foundation of our existence, we are “nature” and carry all its principles within us.

If you comprehend the world as an entity, existing through continuous transformations, in which all parts are an integral component of the whole, and in which all parts determine each other as well as the parts the whole, then we (nature and man) have never – neither within nor without, neither as the observer nor as the observed – been separated from each other.

„The miracle is that the universe created a part of itself, to study itself, and that this part in studying itself finds the rest of the universe in its own natural inner realities.“ (John C. Lilly, scientist)

But still: If you look upon the world today it seems as if we humans have never before been so far apart from our true nature.

It seems to me as if today we had lost all respect and all feeling for nature within us and around us.
In our outer reality this becomes evident through the fact that we are about to turn our planet into a desert – through our value-free actions and by being driven by our conditioning of a “rat race in the now”. We exert an enormous cruelty against man, animal and nature and thus are self-destructively bringing about the collapse of our civilization by destroying our own basis of life.

The world – which, by the way, in ancient Greece was translated as “beauty” – is losing its biodiversity, its habitats, its vitality: its “nature”. And it is obvious that this will have serious and challenging effects on our near future.

As a consequence thereof, I am asking myself how this can be put into context with the state of our “inner reality”.

I believe we can assume that we are carrying within ourselves some kind of “sense of beauty” which results in “ethics”. Not as a predefined frame we couldn’t object to, but as a frame that can be experienced, filled and transformed, because we can transform ourselves and evolve.

If we did not have the aptitude we would be confronting the challenges of our times without any hope. These times might, more than ever, ask us to focus our attention back on what is essential.

In my works I am looking for forms that express themselves through movement and growth. A source of inspiration are nature’s abundant manifestations, the processes that are making them emerge and vanish again, and the impressions I find being reflected within them.

In the course of this I am looking for forms that seem strangely familiar but at the same time do not refer to anything specific. I wish to leave open an associative space for the beholder.

I hope that, through my works, I can speak to this elevating feeling of aliveness within people, and by that give new rise to the question of beauty, dynamics and transformation.

But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty, an it is not alone a solid and satisfactory good. It must stand as a part, and not as yet the last or highest expression of the final cause of Nature“ (Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher & writer)

bottom of page