The Happy Whole
This exhibition would gather images from over 50 years of creative work that are broadly reflective of my overall spiritual/religious beliefs as summed up in Sri Ramana Maharshi’s statement, “To know the truth of one’s Self as the sole reality, and to merge and become one with it, is the only true Realization”, which is carved on my large outdoor installation, The Spirit of Prince George, 2015, in Prince George, BC.
The Spirit of Prince George, 2015, carved and painted Douglas fir, 2014, 36 feet by 14 feet, .
A gallery of the details of the work:
An early work, Bombus Terrestris, is a visual pun on the Being at the center of life.
Bombus Terestris, guache, acrylic laquer, photo negative, 1970, 60 cm
Guru Dev, is a painting featuring a pamphlet of pictures of Guru Dev, the spiritual teacher of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Transcendental Meditation.
Guru Dev, oil on canvas, 1990, 72 x 91 cm
Other pieces reference Christian art from a different perspective. A coat stands for Christ in Down Coat Crucifixion while God Is, God is Dead, partially hides itself, visualizing the ineffable nature of God.
Down filled Crucfixion, ball point pen, ink, acrylic on paper, c. 1980
God Is, God is Dead, canvas, acrylic paint, wood, 2003, 58 x 23 cm
My recent work has been influenced by the Christian spiritual message found in, A Course in Miracles (ACIM). Examples: TEACH ONLY LOVE and my digital piece, IICL.IT,TIOL.
Teach Only Love, carved Douglas fir, fabric. LED lights, 2018, 10 x 70 inches
IICL. IT,TIOL, carved Douglas fir, fabric. LED lights, 2016, 25 x 10 vector based proportions
ACIM has sold in the millions, printed in 27 languages and listed in Faiths & Religions of the World (Thunder Bay Press, 2007) as an emerging religion. The Introduction of ACIM states: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God, and embedded in popular culture when Spock affirms, in Star Trek IV, that “Nothing unreal exists” is a tenet of Vulcan philosophy.
ACIM teaches in Lesson 66: My happiness and my function are one. Inspired, and acknowledging the Happy Face as a universally accepted symbol for happiness and thus, for me, wisdom, I launched my Happy Face Series. It includes: a pencil color transformation of James Flagg’s, I WANT YOU FOR U.S. ARMY into James Miller’s, I WANT YOU FOR WORLD PEACE, which superimposes a happy face over Uncle Sam’s; a Wanted Poster for Happiness (2016) and paintings, t-shirts, wearable art, wood carvings, a painting and a banner touting my four pillars of spiritual awakening: Love, Peace, Freedom and Joy.
I want you for World Piece, pencil color on paper, 2014, 18 x 23 inches
My pieces, Life Star and Dollar Store Razzle Dazzle use light, a perennial symbol for spiritual awakening.
Life Star, LED lights, plaster of Paris wrap, paint 2021, 16 inch sphere
Dollar Store Razzle Dazzle, LED lights, plaster of Paris wrap, rhinestones paint 2020, 16 x 8 inches
Much of my work simply tries to capture the beauty I see in the external world, like my painting, Still Life’s Good, and I would be pleased, in consultation with the gallery, to include them in this show should there be room.
Still Life’s Good, acrylic on canvas, 2018, 70 x 100 cm
James Miller, April 2023