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From the Balinese, Kaja literally means “towards the mountain” and Kelod means “towards the sea”. In addition Kaja is sacred and Kelod is demonic, which implies that a human dwells somewhere between the mountain and the sea, while every human soul exists in-between the sacred and demonic. The concept is used extensively when learning dance on Bali for learning movements – The Balinese use Kaja/Kelod instead of left and right – but also implies a range of human activity and emotion somewhere between the sacred and demonic. I apply it the same principles to painting to signify or depict energy, mood and texture.
Why use Balinese word to describe my work of British landscapes? – the answer is that the Balinese have an evocative language where a single word that has many layers of meaning that seems to help describe human creativity and activity better than any other I have found. One wonderful example is the word “Amrita” which literally means “food of immortality and enlightenment” that can be taken as anything that enriches the soul…..but in my case is also includes Balinese pancakes with banana and coconut.
Kaja/Kelod is an ongoing project to evoke the energy and mood of British landscapes from the mountains to the sea. So far I have been so captivated by Kaja and the sacred that I haven’t got around to Kelod/sea/demonic, but it will come……and there is an element of the demonic in energy and mood used in the painting of the mountains.