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As an ex-illustrator and ‘mature’ fine art graduate (2012), I quickly realized my artistic intentions were not aligned with certain current trends. Pop, subversive, anti-art or conceptual art whereby oral or written presentations replace skilled making and found objects serve as visual aids to accompany a philosophical discussion, were of no interest to me.

 In pursuit of meaningful themes, I repurposed my discarded illustrator’s skill-set inspired by global trends reconsidering drawing as the basis of all art. In my mind, drawing is to art what, coding is to information technology.

The content of my work is informed by a life-long interest in metaphysics, current conclusions about the nature of consciousness (therefore creativity) arising from quantum physics, compared to the principles of information technology.

I am fascinated by explanatory field notes generated by Da Vinci that record the thinking behind observation and creations. In other words - the code for seeing or in my case the code for being.

 Under the overarching theme Field Notes Of A Terranaut, this Zeroth Person perspective interrogates materialist assumptions that Consciousness is epiphenomenal, i.e., is generated in the physical brain. The work records my attempts to visualise the invisible principles behind a gathering paradigm shift in the scientific circles that resonates with Mystic/Yogic claims that Consciousness is a fundamental field and the brain a transceiver.

 Unlike a classical painting, in which all the thinking is embedded in the form, this format allows me to present the evidence and the viewer to make connections between the elements.

 The piece featured here entitled 5Q: (4W) + (1wm) * (abbrev: who, what, where, why are we and which method leads to higher consciousness?) Effectively a theory of everything records various clues collected over a lifetime that contribute to my understanding of Consciousness, as a source of human creativity.

 For example: I have reinterpreted Michelangelo’s God & Adam as a circuit diagram in which thoughts are switches, humans are resistors generating output, art as status report indicating the degree of resistance to the infinite current, and asks: “what happens when the Creator of the artist looking out of the artist's eyes, sees itself looking back?” I note that God’s realm in the original is a dead ringer for a cross-section of a human brain. I compare the Vedic notion of the three in one nature of Consciousness with a notion advanced by Physicist Dr Amit Goswami that Consciousness features both a local and non-local aspects.

Another important influence on my visual strategy for visualizing the invisible, is the celebrated iconic to me, Be Here Now (circa 1970), that is entirely hand drawn.  (I will admit to harbouring a secret ambition to publish a successor manual of consciousness using my drawings).

A work currently in progress entitled State(s) Of The Arts, (destined for entry in the Parkin Drawing Prize, 2017) investigates the source of creativity itself. I seek to make distinctions between reactive and creative impulses as an explanation for various states of the arts sector mentioned at the opening of this column. I am grateful that the most receptive response I have encountered for my work to date emanates from the Parkin Drawing Prize community, one that celebrates skilled making.  I was a finalist in 2016, with The Kabbalah Tea of Mercy Is Not Strained, a drawing depicting a moon like ‘receiver’ cup inside a ‘bestower’ teapot,  that references both the Kabbalah ( the realm of the subject)  and a quantum physics standing wave experiment ( the realm of an object). I look forward to entering again this year, with the permitted 2 items, the second being a type of leaf shaped optical illusion, entirely hand drawn with an ink pen. Hopefully, I will see you all there. [At the time of writing, I received notification of my inclusion in a virtual exhibition in NY under auspices of, that seeks to bring scientists and artist together].

*(entered, not placed in Parkin Prize 2016)

Alan MacDonald

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