THE AWAKEN by jean pronovost
What does it mean to awaken? This brilliantly coloured depiction of a Mayan mask speaks to the experience of the painter. Several trips to Mexico and Central America have stirred his imagination and inspired him to go deeper and deeper into the traditions of the ancient Mayan and other Pre-Hispanic civilizations there. Every time he looks at this painting, it takes him back to his many wonderful and enlightening visits to archeological sites, jungle and desert landscapes, and the passionate hours spent talking with the local people about their art, culture, and history. These journeys led to a profound awakening inside of him, both spiritually and artistically; he found wisdom, fresh inspiration, and passion.
While in Guatemala, he came across this glorious ancient mask. Even though it is cracked and damaged, the remaining traces of bold turquoise and warm sienna brown paint were still so vibrant. It’s a vivid mask, one that is deeply meaningful; it has an energy about it that is profoundly moving. This mask is also such an enigma; looking at it there is a strong wish that it could talk, tell us his story – who was he, why was he made, and what was his lifelike. The black dripping down the backdrop behind him is symbolic of his past, he is oozing with rich stories and wisdom.
Every time the painter looks at this work, he is reminded of why he fell in love with the ancient Pre-Hispanic people, their art and culture. It awakens him again and again.