Saturday, September 16, 2017

Kahlil Gibran Exhibition

Kahlil Gibran and the Feminine Divine

JEPSON CENTERApril 21, 2017–January 2, 2018
Renowned for his literary masterpiece The Prophet(1923), Lebanese-American artist and writer Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) began experimenting with the visual arts at a young age. Telfair Museums boasts the largest public collection of visual art by Kahlil Gibran in the United States, donated in 1950 by his lifelong supporter and mentor, Southern native Mary Haskell Minis. This exhibition concentrates on works that capture Gibran’s enduring belief in the oneness of all things, often characterized in his paintings and drawings as the feminine divine.
His representation of goddess imagery not only reflects his holistic belief in a Universal Spirit, embodied through symbolic female figures, but also reveals the powerful influence women exerted in his own life, molding him into the visionary poet and artist known to the world today. Gibran’s visual and literary works continue to inspire and resonate, as evidenced through contemporary women artists like Sawsan Al-Saraf, Sundus Abdul Hadi, and Tamara Abdul Hadi, whose work will be presented from May 26 through September 10 in the Jepson Center, creating a powerful dialogue between exhibitions.
Funding is provided by the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Kahlil Gibran
Mother Earth from Earth Gods, c. 1931
watercolor and pencil on paper
gift of Mary Haskell Minis, 1950; 1950.8.10

The Spirit Never Dies

That which you are
is eternal and all-pervading
This Being does not pass away
with the passing away of the body.
The Spirit never dies.

It can never die
because it was never born.
It has always existed
and it can never cease to exist.
The Unborn Spirit never dies.

It is indestructible and imperishable.
No fire can burn it
nor any weapon ever harm it.
It is absolute, innocent and free.
The Changeless Spirit never dies.

It is embodied in all
Do not mourn it in any form,
neither in the form of the dead
nor of the living.
The Universal Spirit, who you are, never dies.

- Adapted by Graham Brown from the Bhagavad Gita

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Two Poems by Wu-men

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

One instant is eternity;
eternity is the now.
When you see through this one instant,
you see through the one who sees.

—Wumen Huikai (1183-1260), translated by Stephen Mitchell from The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry, (Harper and Row, 1989)

Wumen Huikai was a Chinese Chan (Zen in Japanese) master most famous as the compiler of and commentator on the 48-koan collection The Gateless Gate.