San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

‘Stillpoint’ Exhibit’s Purpose: Happiness

If Vimala Joan Martha’s art instills feelings of enjoyment and well-being in the observer, her intention has been successful.

According to Tibetan Buddhist doctrine, we are told that life’s purpose is to be happy; it is this philosophy incorporated from Vimala’s other vocation as a yoga and meditation instructor that emerges from her recent works.

After studying in the United States at the Art Students League of New York, Boston University College of Fine Arts and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vimala moved to Costa Rica in 1973, where she earned an arts degree at the University of Costa Rica. She continued at the university, teaching painting and drawing until 1982, when she settled in Los Angeles for three years. There, she was active in the radical Women’s Building, a ground-breaking arts and educational center showcasing women’s artistic achievements, and in the U.S. Women’s Caucus for Art in its drive to achieve recognition for women artists.

Based on this strongly feminist background, one could be forgiven in assuming that Vimala’s works would reflect controversy and struggle. However, this is far from true, as can be seen in her latest exhibition, entitled “Stillpoint.” The collection combines predominantly paper collage and acrylics in an exquisite and harmonious mix of rich color and gentle geometric balance.

Working under her spiritual name of Vimala Joan Martha since 2002, the artist wants to visually reflect the feelings of wellbeing, harmony and peace that she has found through her meditation and yoga. Her deceptively simple compositions use complementary tones with metallic touches as textured dimensions to suggest the multifarious depths and layers of the human conscience.

Moving around the space dedicated to “Stillpoint” is to progress along a visual game as each work presents its own interpretation of Vimala’s intended overall purpose.

The exhibition is indeed enjoyable, uplifting and soothing at the same time – a kind of visual yoga.

“Stillpoint” is showing at Enmarcarte, across from Scotiabank in the western suburb of Escazú, until Dec. 10.Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For info, call 228-2487.


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