the single drop merging into the ocean.
One in a million comprehends
the ocean merging into a single drop.
(Kabir – the weaver’s songs, translated by Vinay Dharwadker penguin)
C F John's series of oils on canvas entitled ‘Still and Silent’ depicts a lone female figure against a neutral background. She is posed, inward looking, yet alert. Each canvas presents a unique, perfectly balanced posture in dialogue with a horizontal line. In all the paintings, the linear planes and natural forms harmonize, arresting all tension. A complete calm reigns. The low-key palette suggests a dream yet the woman’s upright posture points to an alert mind.
His delicate compositions reflect negotiation and balancing as a metaphor for human relations, connecting one another and with the earth. It is through such that we experience and celebrate beauty, love, understanding and freedom. His images do not recount a story; they show you well-being.
In communion with the natural world, his art remains fresh and alive.
Deborah Jenner for Gallery Metanoia, Paris
The richness of a pool
Welled up with mountain springs
Draws me in
To be healed
To be the waters
To be the springs
To be the mountain
To be me.
C.F.John’s paintings capture an all encompassing calm, and a state of equilibrium of the spirit against the fluctuation of change. There is a sensitive depiction of the feminine principle, bringing to mind the fluidity of water, recurring and becoming central to his works. She fragments and unites within the unbounded space, existing simultaneously in different scales... There is a sense of timelessness in what the artist creates. It may be a mindful pause – taking a fraction of breath, or a lifetime – the artist’s very being and experience seems translated into the forms, and extends to the viewer in that fraction it takes to engage with it. The idea of stillness is not withdrawal but just calmness; sound starts in silence and ends in silence.
Lina Vincent Sunish, 2013
Artist CF John is not given to flourishes. He does not need them because in his work, you see the distillation of all of life. Not its impulses. Raw gashes. Or its over stated drama. What you see is balance. Stillness. Life evenly poised between the tangible and the invisible. Swathes of peace. Introspective protagonists reveling in rich inner lives. John's work does not chatter. It calms the chatter in our heads. His work is not a stimulus. It is meditation. Not a journey but a feeling of coming home. It does not say,"here I am!" It says,"I am. And its enough." He says,"I define myself in a state of connectedness, a sort of readiness for dissolution of the self in timelessness. Art is meditation and a prayer for me."
And through this prayer, his works soar above the 'I' and its limiting affectations to acquire a larger sense of self.
Reema Moudgil, 2011
Dayspring – unwinding
It is one thing to see a river for its immediate reality.
It is another thing to see the immediate along with the beyond that it takes us to:
To its silent descent into the stillness of the wells,
to the persisting assent to the heights of the trees,
to the courses the river makes to all bodies,
including my veins,
and finally to its source,
to the Waters beyond its infancy
and back again to all the forms
that the Waters have sculpted.
To the river
And to the body
That I am.
C. F. John