For Gill, her daily practice of yoga, Vipassana meditation, healing arts and the art of creativity have become profound and inseparable and are vital to her way of being. Through these practices and deep levels of perceptive insight, Gill is able to interpret, visualise and portray many different ideas. Her painting process incoporates projective meditation techniques, which expand her state of consciousness allowing whatever arises to flow uninhibited. Colours, form and flow simply occur without hesitation or manipulation, as if someone else has taken control of the brush and Gill is simply the conduit.
Here are some examples of the deeply personal works that she has created.
Commission for a 50th birthday
The work depicts the life's journey of a couple and their two children.
Personal notes from the artist
The moon represents Margaret, shinning her beautiful light down on all who encounter her, bathing them in kindness and compassion.
The Mountains are for Brian, solid, strong, the foundations of awareness, connected to nature, kind and loving, changeable like the elements.
The two Stupa’s are for Roisín and Elli, as they develop and grow. They are grounded by the four strings of prayer flags, which represent each member of the family and protection. The colours of the flags symbolise, blue for sky and space, white for air and wind, red for fire, green for water and yellow for earth. The prayer flags blow in the wind delivering good will and compassion to benefit all.
The Friendship Highway runs from Lhasa in Tibet to Nepal for over 500 miles through the most amazing scenery. It represents where the couple met and their journey of friendship, through the beautiful tranquil valleys and the harsh rugged mountains. All symbols of the ups and downs of life's journey together.
The Waterfall represents ever flowing love and commitment, sometimes running fast other times a mere trickle, but ever flowing through time.
The Silver Birch Woodland symbolises all the friends and family who are important to Brian and Margaret.
Finally the Hawthorn is delivered as a symbol of Margaret's love for Brian, and a gift for his 50th birthday
Our journey together follows
An ever changing path,
Through peaceful valleys
And rugged terrain.
Like the Friendship Highway
Linking Nepal to Tibet.
Our love remains ever flowing
Like the waterfall which
Crosses the path.
by Gillian Kelly Campden
Painting and poem by Gillian Campden, commissioned for the Chief of the order of bards, ovates and druids
Personal notes from the artist
Feelings of softness came in and gentle circular brushstrokes extended outwards. Within the centre of the canvas a mystical element begins, and the path begins to show itself. Trees appeared and I decided to choose 8, to represent the 8 elements of the Druid ritual calendar. Within the trees energies appear, they may be seen or unseen, my role is only to highlight them and give them space. Once established; the path and trees clearly start to form another circular pattern, as if they are all reaching out to touch one another, representing the interconnectivity of all realms. Light shines amongst the movement within the centre of the canvas, an indication of a pure path, a journey through the elements, spiritual and bright. Obstacles on the ground, grown from the roots, restrict a smooth passage through, but it is not impossible to pass. Life’s spiritual journey is represented here, guiding you towards the light of beyond. At this point an animal came strongly into my awareness, a young female deer, perhaps a sign from the world of animal symbolism? Perhaps an indication that all is well and the journey is clear to continue onwards.
In my projection I feel the desire for a huge ancient tree to stand strong amongst the many beings in the woodland, this is you. One strong wise tree standing alone amongst the backdrop of the forest. It sees all and is aware of everything surrounding it. When the first layer of paint began, a face of appeared within the single tone of brown. He was welcomed with delight, however he was too large. I was happy for him to be there, however not to be too visible, so the various layers of colour began to obscure the imagery, and I continued on in the hope he may appear elsewhere, which he did. This appearance required a little assistance from the brush to highlight its presence. It needed to remain part of the tree, not separated, but entwined and embedded within its spirit. As I continued with the layers more and more enterties appeared, with just a simple assisted stroke of the brush they became clearer. There are many within the tree, representative I think of many encounters in this existence, previous and beyond, I leave them for you to discover. Every individual will see differences and some maybe none at all, all is well.
I decided to bring in the African lady to the left of the tree, she nestles quite gracefully in the branches and sits in gratitude to your experiences and encounters in Africa. I could not help but place a harp next to the face as I had been listerning to you play on your web site and just as the sound of the harp takes your soul away, I felt it right to include one amongst the branches, extending the elegance of the instrument and its tone into the very foundation of its being, the woodcraft and magic from which it came.
The final conclusion for the painting was the foreground which sat empty and waiting, the path was already apparent so I decided to add the stones, eight again in a circle to further enhance the significance of the symbol, and its multiple meanings. I tried to represent the interconnectivity of the elements, the four directions, stones, wild flowers, forest plants, runes, elementals and the unseen, unborn, unconditioned.
The young tree to the right is a Hazel, it represents a youthful opportunity to continue growing, its symbolises wisdom and protection, and it is hoped that it will protect you on your journeys onwards.
From my heart.
A Poem by Gillian Campden to accompany the painting
Step into the grove,
Through circles of stone.
Walk wisely through the timeless zones.
Amidst light and splendour abound,
Where transcendent states are verily found.
Become obsorbed, become boundless.
Become wise, fearless, unshrouded.
Let fall away all that you doubted.
Let the guides pass on the Druid oath.
When you see reality you know the truth.
Journeying, extinguishing conscious attachment.
The hidden truth of nature becomes apparent.
Vanquashing negatives, desires is your testament
Truth knowinly found, released from samsara
Onwards you go you will reach Nirvana
The painting “Journeying” was commissioned to celebrate a 60th birthday.
Personal notes from the artist
The circle was very strong during the painting process and affected the whole work. Its profound spiritual symbolism connects the crystal circle that you cross when entering Rathbeagh, the Rath itself, and the energy that the circle creates. As a representation of Phil’s journeying, the circle is her journey through the different realms of existence, it is pure and infinite, and connects with the cosmos, it is sacred and honours the ancestors that Phil is guardian of, protecting and restoring balance. The message of the circle is to recognise and strengthen intuitive powers, so that the universal truth can be known, the healing and divine energies can be released and the art of knowing can be recognised. It is a continuous and endless, feminine energy journeying across the eons, eternal and leading to the ultimate state of enlightenment. The planets, chakras our cycles and divine symmetry are all circular, the circle grounds us in nature and brings earth and the other worlds together.
The painting follows Phil’s path to enlightenment and the universal truth. As you step into the painting you are greeted by the joy of the daffodils which symbolise rebirth and new beginnings, with the coming of spring. The Latin name for daffodil is Narcissus, believed to be named after the son of the river god from Greek mythology. Phil’s current position in the universe is guardian of the river which runs through the land she protects.
The path is lined with Alder trees laden with catkins, the Celtic astrological tree which reflects the qualities of being a natural born pathfinder. The Alder sign represents fierce and passionate leadership, a charming yet gregarious personality who can tolerate many different types of characters and is in turn liked by many different types of people. The Alder is confident and has strong faith; it can see through superficialities and will not suffer fools. Alder people place a high value on their time and hate it wasted. They love action and results and will forge their way onwards to their destination.
Above the trees is a gathering of song thrush’s, one of Ireland’s finest songsters, they are singing the beautiful sounds which make up the “Dawn Chorus” and welcomes visitors from all realms. The Thrush is an elegant little song bird with a happy song voice which reflects how the truth should always be spoken and attention paid to how we communicate through our spoken words. This attention to how others can be affected by words demonstrates the key characteristics of the thrush, such as love, devotion, and living in harmony. The thrush animal guide is associated with the air element which ignites thoughts on perception, intellect, focus, thinking and awareness. The thrush symbol opens awareness, by engaging in silent meditation to resolve any issues of the mind. The Thrush is a devoted partner who is defensive and protective of its lands.
To the left sits a Robin, a messenger of the gods, a passionate and sacred symbol which offers protection and spiritual enlightenment, the Robin teaches focus and trust in yourself; it reassures this realm that the people who have transcended are safe. The Robin also indicates the end of an old phase and the start of a new one, renewal and letting go of what is no longer of use to you and encouraging the continued movement onwards to seek happiness, the Robin encourages you to be brave and follow your goals. The Robin sings its beautiful spring song to remind you to sing your own song, be patient and transform your dreams into reality.
Two blackbirds sit to the right and represent carriers of knowledge and intelligence; they communicate this through their beautiful songs. Their darkness represents other worlds and intuition and the wise understanding of life and existence on a deep and non-judgmental level.
Rooks gather in the trees and represent intelligence, communication, natural problem solving, loyalty and the desire to be an individual with social connections.
Two doves sit harmoniously representing the need to stop for a while and take a breath, let go of current issues and take time out to find peace within you, reality is currently shifting in ways never imagined and dreams will become realities. Purify thoughts to stop attracting difficulties into life and open up to the new cycles and new worlds where many possibilities will become apparent.
Orbs float through the woodland, these represent spiritual entities which appear through the natural world and gracefully transcend into the otherworlds, opening up the clear passageway to awakening.
A crystal catches and reflects light across the painting, this is the Helix Nebula, also known as Eye of God, it is 650 light-years from Earth and is located in the constellation Aquarius, which is the current age we are living in here on Earth. The Helix Nebula is one of the closest and brightest to Earth, it is estimated to be about 11,000 years old, it represents an important stage in evolution and in about 5-billion years, our sun can be expected to form a nebula very similar to this. The heavens will open up and we will become one, just as the enlightened spirit is illuminated and interconnects with the cosmos.
The end of the path leads into the otherworld portal; it appears almost like an illusion, deep into the woods. It draws you down to the people of the goddess Danu the ancient Celtic goddess of the Land. The inner path can be realised by the practice of silence which leads to inner peace through meditation you can travel onwards to the otherworld’s, to the Tuatha dé danann. The inner world of enlightenment shows how when you reach it you can live amongst the living world and the other worlds in harmony and with great wisdom.
The painting represents the deeply personal journeys across the aeons of two people, and how through the many past lives they have managed to continue to travel together as companions amongst the ether.
The Aurora borealis guides Richard from his northern home. With its magnificent light display, it draws him towards the ancient Celtic lands, represented by the cliffs in the foreground of the painting. The forces draw him towards anam cara, where he has rested many times before.
The distant lands represent his travels through many lifetimes, from Iona and the circles in the stones to the Celtic Triskele, interconnecting symbols which are specific to the adventurous travels Richard has experienced. The painting is coloured brightly to honour the ancient linage and the virtues of kindness and patience, within a consciousness that is a bright light for all whom encounter it. As your eye moves towards the foreground down through the fjord the Aurora lights up the seas that Richard as navigated so many times before. On this occasion he travels to the Island of Ireland where he
re-establishes contact with his soul mate.
This union is represented by the two zodiac trees. On the right is the Elder (Trom) a representation of an ancient tree who through time has represented the continuous cycle of rebirth. The Celts honoured its
judgement and its ability to protect from evil and danger. It has many medicinal qualities and In Ireland it is known to be magical, this being significant during Beltane. A Raven sits in the tree, revered in the Norse culture, many Viking earls and kings, including Ragnar Lothbrok, used ravens to find land when they set sail out to the unknown waters. So the Raven sits and rests now its job is complete and the union is made. The tree reaches over the water and touches its soul mate the Alder tree (Fearnóg)
The Druids believed the Alder tree to be symbolic of a balance between female and male principles since it possesses both female and male catkins on the same branch. They also associated the tree with courage and the evolving spirit, and linked it with the continuous cycle of rebirth. In Irish mythology the first human man was made from the alder tree which is considered a tree of the fairies, protected by the water fairy-folk but also representing fire and earth. The Alder represents Mary’s strength, patience and innate knowledge. The two trees link their branches and leaves together as they
glisten under the light of the full moon. The significance of the full moon here in the painting is to light the way of new beginnings and represent the many thousands of moon cycles that have been witnessed along the path of anam cara.
Two symbols lie within the rock formations, a sign from a past life from a monk but also signs of the
ancients, from times and places both distant and near, that link the two spirits together forever. The
feminine Triskele on the left, marks time from early creation representing the continuous cycles, movement and progress along the spiritual path. It represents the devine feminine, mind, body, intellect, linking the spirit, present, love and celestial worlds and holds Mary close to its core.
The Triple Horn of Odin, is featured in the rocks to the left, this symbol contains the interlocking horns of Odin, which represent wisdom, inspiration, creativity and Odin’s quest for the magical mead, Odhroerir/Óðrerir, also known as the Mead of Poetry. The qualities reflected within this ancient symbol reflect the qualities of Richard
(Picture displayed is not the final work, as images have been lost)