Carolina (Cemile) Avalos Interviewed by Henderson
In the throes of creativity, the mind becomes trance-like and still. Experiences and relationships converge to a razor-sharp focus clearing away distractions and leaving only the pure intent of the spirit. Here, a brush-stroke connects common paths and colors signify mood and the passage of time.
Carolina Avalos’ mind has never been more still than when she is in the process of creating. Whether painting, writing, or drawing, in this place where she is most calm, a busy mind can be disconnected, material desires can be cast-away, and purpose can be defined through deep spiritual practice which open doors to an observant spirit. In the past two years, Carolina has been practicing this stillness of and searching for her artistic voice through the philosophy known as oneness.
Oneness defines everything in the universe as being connected; from the energies that cause the movements of galaxies to the winds carrying seeds across continents to the interpersonal experiences we share. Inherent in the philosophy of oneness is the idea that all living things experience a “belonging and not a separation from” things within this existence.
Carolina’s art makes her viewers aware of this oneness and depicts a world free of a “separation anxiety” of the soul. In the end, she is painting an existence that can be.
Q: What is oneness?
A: That connection to one another. We all come from one source and that one source experiences itself through multiplicity, we are the multiplicity. When you are able to look at the soul of a person, then you can experience that oneness.
Q: Explain to me your practice of Qigong and how it helps you focus?
A: It keeps me aware of my thoughts, where they are coming from and which ones come from my internal voice and which ones come from an external influence. Two years ago, I couldn’t concentrate on one thing. [Qigong] helps me to discipline my awareness of my body. It is moving meditation [that helps me] focus internally on my body movement. You have to experience everything that is going on in your body.
Q: How has society become fragmented?
A: [Because of our] ego, we see with our eyes and not our hearts. We are more than this external form. Our behavior is what makes us. Everything you do, it affects somebody..
Q: What is spirituality and is this something that we all share?
A: It is, essentially, our soul. We are part of that oneness that is that one pure light of energy, and that is how we connect to one another. I believe that we are all born knowing our purpose for being in this world, but along our life’s journey distractions blur and almost erase that knowingness.
Sharing? There’s tons of ways, acceptance of the individual, tolerance, looking beyond the societal conditions we’ve been raised in… Art, communication with music, science, writing etc…
Q: How do you observe?
A: I observe through my art. The knowledge I’ve gained is what I am sharing about acceptance, tolerance, understanding, whatever it is that I am observing.
Q: Why is it important to be mindful?
A: You have to be conscious of what you do. Being mindful keeps you from being irrational, in a negative sense.
Q: How would you describe your art?
A: I am a maker of things, I create things. I’m not someone who just has something show from my own emotions. I have an intention and a mission to accomplish [that includes raising issues in] tolerance, education, etc…
But, I don’t want to make art that shows you what you are already living. I want to show you what you could be living, beyond that.
What type [of creator] am I? Whatever someone who is looking at my creation thinks, I suppose.
I don’t do realistic pictures of people, but I can. I want to stray away from specific identifications of certain things. I don’t have a specific color of skin. There’s no identity, [the figures] all kind of look the same. They may look different in proportion. I don’t want to show a division between any one of them. Because we should look beyond that. Everything is kind of abstracted. I want my art to be accessible to everyone.
I don’t really categorize myself, but I would describe my art as a progression, one piece leads to the next. Currently I am focusing on tightening up my skill level and technique so that I can speak to the viewer of oneness, tolerance, spirit, and energy… that we are not what we see but how we behave and that there are limitless possibilities if you so choose to take them.
Q: What is your artistic mission?
A: To speak to the viewer, provoke open-mindedness, awareness, and curiosity and have the viewer come out of their box and explore their own conditioning. I don’t want to inflict my views on others, I want people to use the Socratic method of questioning and see the world through their own light.
Q: How are you different than you were two years ago?
A: I’m more aware of myself and why I tended to do certain things in the past. Now I can deal with situations with mindfulness and know my true intentions from random thoughts.
Q: What has changed about your art since leaving art education?
A: I read a lot spend much time outside observing, writing, and exploring people’s behavior. I meditate and realize that I’m not this outside person, I’m a soul. So I concentrate on getting to know myself better. Been doing that for the past two years. You can say my art has grown with me and I am not attached to making art just about me.
Q: What types of societal divisions are you exploring?
A: Classicism, racism, prejudice. The same ones that have existed for years and add to our own duality, or separation, within our soul. [I want to show people that] there’s no limit to what you can do. We’re not the carnal superficial being. We’re more than that.
Q: Why is art important?
A: Because it it’s a tool we can communicate with and describe what is external and internal. It is an internal expression of the external, or vice versa, to bring about change. With positive intention can bring about awareness.
Q: In the last two months, what have you seen or had an experience of that makes you think your are justified in how you see the world?
A: Synchronicity . My grandfathers passing and my sister’s pregnancy. Everything happens for a reason.