Bern Behan

Mostly 35mm abstract photographs with mixed media

I mainly use a Canon AE1 camera to photograph compilations of rubbishy materials found around my flat. I throw light on these loose constructions to try give them a more mysterious & precious "feel"..(Sometimes I use a digital camera as a 'sketching tool' but never manipulate the photo, just rearrange the 'stuff' I am photographing). My artwork reflects inner wrangles, tangles & tortures (not forgetting the joys!) which intermingle & sometimes settle & loosen up in the right light (ie. real care for self, others & from others) . I love finding the beauty & distinctivess in the seemingly worthless, ordinary, decaying & torn. I've been on many intense silent meditation courses which makes me very reflective (or because I'm reflective?) My art gives glimpses into my meditative journey at times - by no means always pretty!! Sometimes I haven't got it in me to create, other times I've had to create in order to at least visually note and validate the internal- torrent in process, the joy & pain. The activity of making helps perhaps clarify, honour, dilute & dissolve intensity & stuckness and at times, the seemingly mountainous inner force of being. Piercing the "rubbish" with light forces me to see things transforming before my eyes when I feel it hard to believe in the possibility of any change, shift or lightening. 'The journey is your own or it is nothing', to paraphrase something I read once, this chimes with the 'experience for yourself' teaching of the Buddha, so fighting and working for some glimmer of authentic, inner freedom is important for me and an entitlement of all. Our own life is the raw material for art. Other peoples art helps at times too, it can be uplifting, courage and hope giving to see creative evidence of the manifestations of their honest life questions, symbols, struggles, relationship with nature, universe, self & others - many wonderful examples on this site. Thanks.



Bernadette Behan

Thanks Peter! All Bozos?

Your eloquent & effusive comments appreciated. After a nanosecond of basking in the glow of my 'transcendental' state, the phrase 'we're all bozos on this bus' came to mind as a blessed relief! Looked up the meaning of that quote, found great little article on it by Elizabeth Lesser who, coincidentally wrote a book 'Broken Open - How difficult times can help us grow' (haven't read it so can't recommend) which chimes neatly with your "Crack in Everything" Cohen quote! To continue the good man's work, "ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering"...I'm so pleased my messy, humanly imperfect, nonetheless creative offerings ring your bell. Thanks again for having a look and taking time to respond.


Peter Stephenson

“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.” (Leonard Cohen - “Anthem”) Bernadette’s art has an incredible heartfelt and powerful quality arising from finding “beauty... in the ordinary, decaying and torn.” From the universal inevitability of entropy, as everything proceeds from order to chaos, hot to cold, light to dark and from life to death, this body of work shines a light on the beauty and wonder of the process. Scientists have recently witnessed the creation of heavy elements such as silver and gold in the cataclysmic death throws of a distant star system. Bernadette’s art reveals nuggets of ‘gold’ hidden in plain sight, in the seemingly ordinary and worthless. The ability and dedication required to create art with such deep meaning, is in itself, no ordinary thing. As ordinary folk like me go through life in an unconscious manner, unsuccessfully running from painful feelings and hiding in busyness and social conformity, art such as Bernadette’s is a testament to the beauty and power of transformation and regeneration through being awake. And as well as being incredibly meaningful, Bernadette’s art is also very beautiful to have hanging on the wall. Dear old Leonard Cohen would have really approved!


Bernadette Behan

Thanks for your kind comment Sinéad. The process is often a mystery to me & I'd like to think I leave a bit of room for the 'sacred' to sneak in! Who knows! I'd like to work on getting an exhibition together someday, somewhere! Will let you know.


Sinéad Habron

Beautiful artwork! There is a sacred mystery to these pieces. Exhibiting any time soon?

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