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We are all our ancestors

Zen painting

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There is a connection between us and all our ancestors. There is a connection between their actions, however long ago, and the way we are today. Their life continues in us. The pattern at the figures feet is taken from the Arundel tomb in Chichester Cathedral. The tomb has two carved figures which have faded with time. All that clearly remains is the outstretched hands holding each other. Their identity, status and deeds have all been forgotten, with just the gesture of love remaining. This was the subject of a wonderful poem by Philip Larkin. For me, the patterns taken from the base of the tomb have come to represent the contemplation of death and the wisdom found in stillness. Each part of the pattern is incomplete, imperfect and fragile, like each of us, but the pattern persists because of each repeated component. There is only one pattern, just as there is only one continuous life. The feelings within me that the pattern generates are feelings of acceptance and stillness. If we can accept death is part of the one continuous life, then we can find peace. - Mike Heseltine

Zen painting

ink painting

Pencil, charcoal and ink sketch on hand made paper.


Zen style painting.

Mike Heseltine painting

Zen drawing using acrylic ink on paper.

Zen drawing

Painting study for 'We are our Ancestors'.

Zen picture

Zen painting

Study of Zen concept of connection.