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General News · 17th September 2014
Oriane Lee Johnston
The Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery.
Last hour of the last day of the last show of the season, The Out and The In, Kalyani Hemphill and collaborators.

Earlier in the day something a Buddhist teacher said to me a few years ago about meditation practice came to mind. "It is because we are held in the primordial (the invisible cosmic presence; the lineage, for Buddhists) that the ego, emotional and mind states can unravel themselves. It is not the other way around, where one works to untangle the egoic self to get to the primordial/to oneness." This is in part why we "take refuge" in meditation practice.

I had just such an experience in the gallery, of being held, and the unraveling of something that ordinarily keeps me bound in conditioning and convention. The atmosphere (in the grandest sense of that word) that Kalyani ushered me into - she is thoroughly engaging with gallery goers - is so much more than the sum of the myriad pieces and installations. And the sound - soulful syncopated trance jazz tech with music marvels Tyrell on a little electronic screen and Soren on saxophone. Happily in motion, I spent a long time paying attention to every corner high and low, as Richard Trueman recommended in his opening night review. Every art piece was composed of items found at the Cortes Island Recycling Centre Free Store in the three days prior to the show.

Without thinking (that's the clue), silver spoon in hand, I found myself improvising on one of the found objects, a two-tiered xylophone. For a long time, entranced. Listening to the sampled playback of three of us playing together, Tyrell, Soren and me, was incredulous, absolutely uplifting. I felt disarmed, pure; couldn't help a little bow of gratitude.

I left with a gift off the wall, a quote Kalyani had hand-lettered onto corrugated cardboard - from the same Buddhist lineage as above - given to her for the show by her notorious father, Kenny Hemphill. Here it is, a beautiful tribute to an accomplished young Cortes artist who also lives and exhibits in Europe: www.quotes.justdharma.com
See the post on my blog, click website link below.