Ladislav Hanka

"Scriptum Arborum" 

Messiah College High Center Galleries, upper level, 

Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts


Artist's statement:

Art is a form of contemplative prayer, best conducted in places quiet enough to allow the subtle voices to be heard beyond the din of market and social diversions. Perched on a windy cliff with a sketchbook on my knees and contemplating the graphic conundrums posed by a rocky archipelago, I find myself resolving the receding and overlapping lines of more complex and meaningful perspectives as well. The converging lines of horizon and eroding granite come into ever sharper contrast as I begin to tease apart and discern the multilayered reflections and vanishing points, each layer molded by geologic forces and enfolding the remains of untold generations of creatures. Eternal truths here lie exposed in an esoteric text, open and freely available to those ready to perceive. Questions of interest rates and ideologies fall away before the clarity of water, wood, air and stone, substances whose medium of communication is unfailingly direct - that of thermodynamics. The choices implied are of the utmost simplicity and immediate biological import. Striving for wholeness within this organic context, I enter the fluid world of the fish; feel the flight musculature and predatory impulses of the dragonfly. Sitting before the millennial Oak, with pencil poised over paper, I discern from deep within, the pulsing of a heartbeat slow and measured, and yet a rhythm beyond hearing, apprehended by senses for which I have no words. I reach into a space within and without, timeless and 

immediate and lay down a line, hoping in the process to behold and make manifest glimpses of the divine. 

About the Artist:

Ladislav Hanka has had something over 120 one-man shows and has works in about the same number of public collections. In these works he examines recurrent themes of life, death and transfiguration nature as the crucible in which man finds a reflection of his own life and meaning. His work is based in equal parts of observation and inventive studio work, recombining elements of observed nature into his own symbolic expression. He is active in the book arts, published as both writer and illustrator and it all comes together in that protean mix of the written word finding meaning in both abstract thought and in the sensuality of a calligraphy that finds expression in letter forms that derive their form from the grasses, corn stalks and trees whose signature is impressed upon our neural net in those moments when we walk and let the creation enter our souls unbidden and unfiltered.