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Chris Barnaby does abstract digital art with a definite spiritual aspect.

Chris Barnaby first came to my attention through the International
Digital Art Awards. Since then we have been communicating and
discovered a lot in common. Chris is one of those really nice guys that
you sometimes luckily come across. Very serious about his art, he is a
deep thinker, which is reflected in his work.

Chris has been an artist during entire life. He started exploring
digital art back in the dim, dark days of the beginning of the home
computer age with many systems, a favorite being the commodore 64 and
Amiga computer. He created a computer artwork for his higher school
certificate in 1986. He completed an associate diploma in fine arts at
TAFE whilst exploring the possibilities of the video medium. He then
went on to art school at university but dropped out after one year due
to a stifling educational system. Chris found it was based around the
intellectualization of art rather than the practical creation of art
and enhancement of self-understanding through expression. Whilst a
tertiary education in art suits and helps some people, there are
certainly others, like Chris, that find it the totally wrong
environment to help their creativity. It is summed up in Chris’ saying,
“I want to create art history rather than theorize about it!”. So he
set about a process of self exploration and self learning.

In between the art, Chris was a programmer/analyst that worked in the
creation of artificially intelligent databases. He is currently the
curator for Erowid.org/art. He uses most standard software packages. He
became a Master in Neuro Linguistic Programming and enjoys using his
hypnosis skills in the creation of his art through trancework. He
creates his art for the purpose of self pleasure and to explore the
technological medium in the rendering of experience/s of ‘the other’.
He is inspired by his experiences of ‘the other’ and the subsoncsious
mind through transcendent states of consciousness accessed via the use
of psychedelics, trance work, self-hypnosis, trance dance, meditation,
sleep deprivation, dreamwork, fasting, and overall… his intimate and
almost personal belief in his connection with spiritual aspects of
experience.

Chris defines his beliefs as: “I have a sincere belief in the
connectedness of everything. I believe that we are all part of the
creation of ‘God/dess’ and that this creation speaks to its people
through events, through art of all forms and personal experience. If
you look back on your life you will see that it has been a path that is
quite obvious. If you think also of all the small things that made you
make the choices you made to get to where you are now you will clearly
see that you have been guided. Guided by what? I personally believe
that the guide is God/dess or Spirit and this being has a hand in every
event no matter how small. I also believe that this being will
represent itself in any way that it can in this dimension and will
appear in many forms. The most unusual that has been in the past was
the Christian form of Jesus… the most modern form of this ‘other’ is
the U.F.O. and extraterrestrials. Whilst humanity further allows itself
to believe in a separation of itself from Spirit, the ‘alien other’
will appear in whatever form is necessary to ‘shake up’ our
sensibilities and allow for an experience or understanding that has to
include this Spiritual part of ourselves. We are at a time in history
where we are about to be born as a new form of consciousness. What form
this consciousness will take I have no idea of except that it will
include all being and all beings everywhere in all dimensions. My art
is a reflection of these beliefs… an honest approach at allowing the
opening of a dialogue between our selves and what we believe to be the
alien other. I believe in time we will clearly see that this “alien
other” is nothing but another aspect of our all powerful and
multidimensional selves and that we are fundamentally a creation of
love”.

Chris’ Creative Process

All of my current works start from what I call a ‘primitive’ that I
generate using a 3d program. My favorite program, at the moment for
this, is ZBrush as it is quick and fast. I have toyed with the idea of
the creation of these works in an animated and also 3dVR space. The
technology at the moment seems a little limited in what I am able to

present and express. I use a Pentium 4 – 1.6Ghz with 500MB of memory, a
Wacom tablet and output via Kodak Lambda printer at a pro photo lab on
metallic gloss paper.

My creative process is closely related to my philosophy of life which
has been with me in a kernal form from birth and then strengthened from
the experiences I have gained confirming this understanding as I live.
I firmly believe that we are all equal; ‘as above so below’ and in this
belief I form my art. My experiences throughout life have not only
confirmed this identity forming understanding, but also inform my
creative process in many ways.

I know that when I start a work it will have only the essence of the
original idea that spawned it. I prefer to keep with going with the
flow of the universe and the artwork as it happens. I know when I
create a work that my creativity will be influenced by ‘errors’ and
‘serendipity’ and I allow for this to be able to discover new ways of
representing the ideas that seem to have a need to be expressed through
my self. If I come across a new way of doing my work by accident I
always save the work at this point to be able to explore that idea
fully in other works. I sometimes develop the ‘accidental’ work to see
where it leads.

Sometimes just play with digital images and something appears other
times I start with an idea. In this instance I start with an idea that
is niggling at me to be expressed. In this instance I have been
regularly harassed by the ‘other’ to express my dreams in which the
‘other’ side of reality appears as UFO’s, UFO like objects and
extraterrestrial forms. If you look at my artworks carefully this
‘alien other’ theme has quite a strong and familiar presence to them…
this time I will be playing with the idea of a craft that represented
themselves in in one of my recent dreams

Audacity was a spin off for an album
cover that I did for a local band. The requirements for a front cover
image was that it encompass the ideas of the artist which included
their belief in magic in the city. I created this from those ideas and
the album cover features a similar ‘early’ version of this same work.
This is the completed work.



This work is designed to evoke and
emotional response with its flowing forms and colour and I believe it
does so quite successfully when seen printed full size.

This was one of my earliest works
that I did that I started to show people. I had in mind the bubbling
forms of the psychedelic waterworld when I created this. This work wa
s
also featured on the cover of the Heffter Review of Pyschedelic
Research journal.

I am quite obsessed with the cross
image and this work is again something I have seen inside of me whilst
I have been doing deep inner work and meditation. This is again looking
at the base  side of the generator for all of this dimension. It
appears in many forms and colours although always like a cross.

This world is reminiscent of the
experiences to be had by psychonauts when under the influence of
psilcybian mushrooms. I have personally experienced places and beings
like these and was amazed the day that I was able to finally capture
some of them for exhibit.

Thought Patterns is more of a dream
related work as I sometimes dream in colours and shapes. This work
reflects this dreaming and allows you to view it intimately and dream
along with it.

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