A winged being pursues her angelic flight though various spaces and incoherent
perspectives. Free from gravity and unbound from matter, this ethereal being
hovers through turbulent waters, furnaces and tunnel-like spaces. All four
elements are present in this composition: fire, water, earth and ether. This painting is symbolic of the
human experience, navigating through life, discerning through an array of
information, beliefs and identities, searching for patterns in chaos.
Artist and psychologist Sonia Ben Achoura translates her academic explorations of mind
and body into a powerful visual language. Artwork that conveys psychological concepts
and phenomena through her paintings, hence adding a scientific dimension to her art project.
Both historic and cutting-edge research findings are conceptualised in her creations,
covering a broad range of interests including meditation, dreams, human interaction
with technology, consciousness, well-being and evolution.
This painting is inspired from neuro-theological research and the finding of
areas in the brain that activate during prayer, meditation and spiritual
experiences. The scientific search for God within the brain has yielded
some fruitful results: the finding of areas in the brain (using neuro-imaging
technology -fMRI scans) that activate during spiritual experiences, prayer,
and meditation. However, the interpretation of these findings is proving to be
a challenge: Whilst for some, these spiritual ‘hotspots’ in the brain generate
these experiences, for others, the pinpointing of these specific areas only
shows that God speaks to humans through these localized areas in
the brain. Scientific attempts to prove or disprove the existence of God
Oil on canvas
Statistics are pervasive in the contemporary world. Within most disciplines, meaning is sought among vast arrays of data, aiming for generalization. The predictive power at the core of statistics is the basis for understanding and harnessing the resources available in the physical world. Advancements in computer science have contributed to an increase recent times in the accuracy of observations, and most importantly, the patterns that emerge from the data. The inferences drawn have become increasingly precise, allowing to catch glimpses of a future in which predictable factors coexist with erratic phenomena.
This predictive ability would undoubtedly have been considered superhuman by primitive people for whom only a few privileged individuals such as shamans or oracles could supposedly foresee the future. Yet this novel divinatory discipline has become part of an established research process in most disciplines with the widespread practice of collecting and analysing data. The findings obtained from such evidence-based protocols are subsequently used to implement changes in policy and practice. In rapidly changing contemporary societies, statistics have proved an invaluable tool to observe and record patterns of changes. All aspects of Western society are, to this day, guided by research.
From correlation to Anova, mediation analysis to T-test, the methodological spectrum continues to widen, bringing about increasingly elegant insights. Whether high or low, scores on variables are assessed, revealing causality, or at least, the strength of the relationship between variables. This dance of precision is scrutinized down to its minutiae: standard deviation, direct effect, confounding variables… to try and establish the probability of an event occurring. Was it cause and effect? Or was God the rolling the dice?
Reality is constructed upon vibrational sound.
This painting depicts my incursion back in time, when all was silent.
The first sound then occurred, followed by many others on an
increasingly broader scale. Proportionally, atomic particles arranged
themselves in novel configurations, in time giving rise to matter, and
later to the first life forms. Hence sound emerged, like a seed of sound,
a seed of life.
Music holds a hugely important role in human culture and presents itself
in multitude of forms and expressions. It is a universal phenomenon
humans invest large amounts of time, dedication, and resources on
musical activities. The importance of music to the brain is now being
investigated at some universities as a new discipline named ‘music psychology’.
Music being an aspect of culture, its study is expected to yield insights into
human nature, values and identity, human evolution, and expansion of
This painting was born of a musical inspiration,
depicting a fluid, ethereal wave of sound traversing
a structured background with a mathematical, geometric framework. Another painting in this series is ‘The Emergence of Sound’ , displayed in my website