BLUE MIND, Solo Exhibition by Bailey Ferguson Kahilu Exhibits, Waimea, Hawai‘i September 8 - October 31, 2022
BLUE MIND ARTIST STATEMENT - I paint from a place of remembrance – moments of calm and chaos – when immersed in water. Simultaneously peaceful and chaotic, isolating and connecting, colossal and imperceptible, water embodies the complexities of the human experience. This intangible meditative state we experience near, in, on, or under water has been conceptualized and psychologically explored by author Dr. Wallace J. Nichols in his book, Blue Mind. He describes it as a “mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.”
For me, surfing is the link to my blue mind - intersecting meditation, community, movement, and a spiritual connection. It is in this flow where I access the heart space, finding self-love, self-acceptance, and grace. I am embraced by the healing qualities of water, and when I return to my studio I reflect: How can I channel this virtue back into the world?
When I paint, I bring the ocean into my mind's eye, connecting to the environment above and below the surface. I am inspired by these multi-sensory moments in the waves, especially the vulnerability of a wipeout. I’ll open my eyes to study the hues and textures of a wave as it passes. A heavy wave will create total darkness as its force pummels and pulls my board and body into disorientation. As turbulence settles, whitewater creates contrasted textures and patterns in gradients from blue to green to yellow and brown. I observe the filtered light on the seafloor – thinking about the repetitious nature of reef-building coral and marine species below. When I surface from this underwater world of awe and wonder, I feel a sense of humility, aliveness, and belonging as I paddle back out to the lineup.
Vast and boundless access to water binds us to nature, and us to one another. Through surfing and creating art, I am finding a deeper understanding of this extraordinary blue mind philosophy that offers an antidote to modern-day stresses. Whether it's the ocean, a pool, or bathtub – water’s nurturing and healing elements ripple through. See you in the water.