Richard Bright: Can you begin by saying something about your background?
Michael Falzoni: I started to love painting during my teenage years, going on to study painting at Bath Spa. Soon after I started practicing Sahaja yoga meditation and travelled to India to study Indian miniature painting. I loved India and ended up being there for about 5 years.
RB: How has the study of Indian miniature painting translated into your work?
MF: Mostly the use of controlled watercolour.
In my recent work the use of bright, radiant colour. Also the idea of looking into another world. Indian miniatures are more illustrative but still highly imaginative with great plays on perspective and use of shape to give the picture plane a playful, vibrant surface.
RB: Can you say something about your working process?
MF:I like to build an image without a fixed outcome in mind. Playing around on top of basic structures, seeking the elusive qualities of art.
I work on a lot of paintings at one time, putting them away and later reassessing. I enjoy the process of taking time to build up layers often over-painting on sanded back layers of under-painting.
RB: You once said to me that you try not to think while you are working. What did you mean by this?
MF: Trying is not really a part of it. It’s more about being in seventh heaven, or we could say having one’s attention on top of the head, beyond the thoughts. What exactly attention is could be a topic for another conversation!
RB: Can painting be regarded as a form of meditation?
MF: For me meditation is a very blissful thing.
It is something which connects the individual with the all-pervading and enlightens our inner being. One of the benefits of meditation is that it brings you into the present, into a state of thoughtless awareness. Focusing on an activity such as painting can also help to bring us into the moment so in that sense it can be a form of meditation, yes.
RB: Your work encourages us to observe ourselves in the shifting process of observing and, by doing so, transforms our relationship to perception. Is this how you wish your art to be perceived?
MF: That sounds fine to me! If my work can bring joy to people then that’s the best. If people enjoy the process which you have described, or find that it helps them perceive themselves in a truer light then, yes.
RB: Do you seek harmony in your work, both for yourself and the viewer?
MF: Yes, absolutely. Nature is the master. Its harmonies are exquisite and continually inspirational. In my work I’m moving away from more obvious, symmetrical, harmonies and seeking harmonies through more spontaneous and diverse forms.
All images copyright and courtesy of Michael Falzoni
Further works by Michael Falzoni can be found at Perceived Realities (Interalia Magazine, November 2014)
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