THE MOUTH OF THE SACRED HOUSE I - by jean pronovost
The title of this mystical and dreamy painting is a symbolic reference to the cave, and to the desert. These are places for deep reflection and to reconnect with nature, it is a time for leaving the material body behind and setting the spirit free. It is also a journey that cleanses you. There is no map to look to; just like life, it is a case of finding your own way – here only the imagination and spirit can serve as the guide through the cactus and harsh terrain. While this can be a scary or unsettling prospect, the reward is a profound understanding of life and the self.
This landscape has a beautiful and bright blue sky with sunlight beaming through the ethereal clouds. There is a light fog that delicately obscures the majestic mountains that line the background of this sacred Northern Mexico desert scene, creating an eerie and magical atmosphere. This land is untouched by mining operations, and its vivid colour reflects the mineral richness of the soil and mountains. Amongst the cactus that populate this hot, dry desert, there is a beautiful, almost glowing, lush tree. It is a vision offered, arising from this abundant earth. Below this profoundly beautiful tree, we see natural rock formations that almost flow like a waterfall from it. This stalactite concretion is the symbolic root of the sacred tree above it. To whom the ancients also gave gifts to.
This leads to a cave where the underworld and, symbolically, also to the inner self. Specifically, it is the Balaamcanche near Chichen Itza, and its name translates roughly as ‘cave of the sacred jaguar throne’. Inside this cave, there are a plethora of artifacts from numerous ceremonies the Maya held here, where they gave offerings to honour Xibalba and to feed the underworld. The elements of this painting, and the position they occupy on the canvas symbolize the spiritual connection between the underworld, the land of the living, and the upper world of spirit. Our world is a harmony of these three, and we are connected to them as well.
This piece has an uplifting feeling to it: the bottom is painted in heavier tones and with more intense shadows that push the eyes upward to the lighter shades and textures of the desert tree and then into the vibrant and light-saturated mountains and sky. It is symbolic of the profound passage offered by this journey through the desert and the cave for the self and the spirit.