The path to these paintings.
At the risk of being misunderstood, my identity as an artist held off anything that referred to the world of the shamans and their spirits, the spiritual and the holy space, and the life of the dream body and dream world. My outer and inner life can, however, no longer accept such one-sidedness, indeed such ignorance and arrogance.
My work roots in and out of a life-long formalistic examination of the subject of shamanism and its surrounding subtopics. Today, in the clearness of review, I have to say: in and out of the inner childish longing for a connection with a subject, whose full significance, meaning, and reality I only now, in the midst of life, am able to recognize and start to express.
The cultural-historical conclusion of the shaman being the prototype of the artist and thus the contemporary artist being directly connected to his professional ancestor, instantly transports the magic to our present day. A magical realism. Not that it was ever really gone but the awareness of this connection was a Rosetta Stone to me, a lifting-the-veil from my stable blindness. It enabled me to see clearly while serving as a stimulus for further insights. This triggered a process in which blockages, accumulated over more than one lifetime and manifesting in the past decade, began to dissolve. I started to experience a transformation, along with a deep knowledge and the trust: all is good and these paintings are only a beginning.
And yet, one thing is certain: the experience of the dream time can never be accurately described or articulated in our everyday languages. The same goes for my paintings.
-Uwe Henneken, 2016