The Creative Science Centre - by Dr Jonathan P. Hare

by Jonathan Hare

I have completed a number of paintings during my fellowship. One theme is to express what has been learnt and understood in the meditation courses. The First image shown below, Meditation (1998) was a first attempt at this and I have used NESTA time to build on this. Distraction (π-chair) shows a meditation stool surrounded by multi coloured lights. The picture shows the many distracting thoughts every meditator has to let 'drop' during the meditation. Beads obscure the thread (2003) tries to deal with the fundamental nature of our minds. Mirrors on a Thailand Temple (2003) - is based on the wonderful light both bright and scattered in all directions by the tiny mirror decorations adorning Thai temple walls.


Meditation (1998, pre NESTA). Above: the aim of meditating is to produce a happier, calmer mind. To do this the meditation 'practice' is to drop the thoughts that appear. It is not the suppression of thoughts, but simply letting them 'run out of steam' and subside. When this happens, rather than the mind disappearing (as the thoughts diminish), one observes that one is very much awake, aware and present. In the painting the intersections are like the thoughts while the gradual colour fade is rather like the dying away of the mental activity before another thought is generated.
(water colour, ca. 45 x 30 cm)

Distraction (pi-chair)

Distraction (π-chair) (2002). Above: when we meditate we purposely try to reduce the minds tendency to generate thoughts - but habit (our busy lives) makes this hard to do. In the picture the chair is a meditation stool, made to keep the back straight, which helps settle the mind. However, even though we have the 'technology' to help our meditation it is often the case that the mind is 'far off', scattered in all directions by the many thoughts that come and go. In this painting the many coloured bands (lights) and shading represent what are (in this case) these 'disturbing' thoughts. To reduce this distraction is the basis of the 'practice' of meditation. If there were no distractions there would be no need to do it!
(water colour, ca. 40 x 30 cm)


Beads obscure the thread (2003). Above: Meditation reveals the underlying basic mind behind the everyday thoughts and concepts - in essence it is the 'nature of the mind'. Although thoughts and concepts are useful and even inevitable they are transient and actually hide the 'nature of mind'. This 'nature of mind' or 'ordinary mind' as it is sometimes called is common to all, it is our thoughts, concepts and delusions that are so extraordinary (Sogyal Rinpoche)! The painting above tries to depict the mental chatter and concepts (the beads) that hides our basic nature (the white thread).
(water colour, ca. 40 x 30 cm)

Mirrors on a Thailand Temple

Mirrors on a Thailand Temple (2003). Above: I am fascinated by the endless possibilities of how light can be reflected, refracted and dispersed. The painting shown above was inspired by the detail created by many hundreds of small mirror tiles on a wall of a Thai Buddhist Temple. The bright light from equatorial sunshine and the wonderful uninhibited use of temple colour is an inspiration.
(water colour + ink, ca. 45 x 30 cm)

Sky, olive branch and Moon

Sky, olive branch and Moon (2001). Above: It is tranqual and timeless to look up through the leaves of a shading tree into the deep blue sky. In an instant we are brought back to the mystery of who we are. This is particularly so in the Mediteranian where an ancient olive tree, the fragrance of the land and the clarity produced by the bright Sun light, brings to our senses - in an instant - an essence of thousands of years of life.
(water colour ca. 30 x 40 cm)

Theodorus Spiral

Theodorus' Spiral (2003). Above: Each triangles has a right angle and a side of length 1 unit (apart from the smallest triangle which has two sides of unit length). The longest side of the smallest triangle is therefore = √(1² + 1²) = √2 units (by Pythagoras). As this side is shared with the next triangle it means that the second triangle has a longest side = √(1² + (√2)²) = √(1+2) = √3. As all the triangles share sides in the same way the pattern continues around the spiral. The longest sides of each triangle therefore form a series: √2, √3, √4, √5, √6, √7 ... up to √13 units in the picture.
(water colour and metal foil ca. 25 x 30 cm)

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other paintings by JPH



Dr Jonathan Hare, Room 3R253, Chichester Bldg. CPES, The University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex. BN1 9QJ. 01273 606755 x3171

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