Robert Selkirk is a British artist living near Jerusalem since 2008 with his wife and three children. His paintings have been exhibited since 1994 and collected by an enthusiastic audience worldwide.
"We are surrounded by hills and valleys strewn with ancient past. My recent landscapes are inspired by this area, I will often be inspired by a fleeting moment, from just observing, absorbing the natural play of light within the landscape.
"Nature is like pure magic, it is where I feel clear and inspired. My paintings explore our spiritual connection to the natural world, feelings that are experienced in nature – how we find that connection within our heart, those captivating transcendent moments of magic. When we connect this way, inside, our whole energetic field expands and connects outward.”
Turning the Outside Landscape Inwards
“This is a paradox. What we are taught in society is opposite. When we perceive from an ego perspective, this lens distorts reality and bends it. Unless we are able to find this space inside, those inverted things will appear as if they were right way round and, what I have stated will be in conflict with a belief based on this distorted perception.
“This is a simple concept that remains hidden to the majority because most people perceive from the outside (ego understanding its place in the world as seperate) as a reaction, rather than experiencing inner feelings as a first cause where everything is connected from the heart like a web.
“I think we can flux between these two states of being. We can not escape the entrapment of ego, but we can lessen its grip on our perception moment to moment.
"Everything outside exists inside us."
Native Americans believe the outside is our past. It has already happened, already manifested from the present. The present is within our being. It is the place of creativity in the moment.
How do I Paint?
“These paintings turn the outside landscape inwards. They are like a bridge to the present living moment that influences internal feelings. It is an environment just like nature.
My landscapes will have a starting point based on the physical landscape but I paint spontaneously, intuitively, building up layers over time. This process can take months to years. The whole process is about transformation, colour and form changing with time. It is a reflection of the experience of being merged in a moment, while the painting itself is in a transformed state from what was seen and felt. A moment is transformed into yet another moment, like a web that connects everything. It is timeless. Ever present.
For me, the magic happens on the canvas. This is where I bridge the gap between what I perceive as 'real' or physical in contrast with that which I feel internally, consciously on a spiritual level. They are very much connected but the latter is rarely seen, felt or acknowledged.
Robert Selkirk exhibition of paintings at the Jerusalem Theatre, Israel
23 January – 22 February 2020
The Nature of Spirit - An exhibition full of Heart
Robert Selkirk is a British-Israeli artist, living in Tzur Hadassa. His paintings have been exhibited since 1994.
These paintings are an exploration into the spiritual essence of nature - the nature of spirit.
You can say so much about something because there is so much to convey. So much pouring from your heart that needs to be shared. These paintings are not about any kind of explanation. They are silent. Just standing still. Energetic but simple. They come from a place of stillness. Yet, so very engaged.
My paintings are very connected with my heart in an energetic sense - I feel it. It is the source of inspiration flowing. It is a place of pure peacefulness but very energetic and spontaneous at the same time.
“Everything outside of us exists inside of us”
As an artist Robert’s work reflects the connection between the heart and mind related to our perception of the non-physical or spiritual within the physical structures seen in nature. “My landscapes have a starting point based on the physical landscape, but the painting experience is very spontaneous and intuitive.”
Robert has written a lot about the heart and mind connection; you may explore it more through his website robertselkirk.com and his book “Awakening to a dream of tomorrow”
Jerusalem Theatre, January 2020
Open Studio exhibition, Jerusalem May 1919
HarAdar open house 2018
Summer exhibition, McNeill Gallery, Hertfordshire 2017
HarAdar open house 2015
Summer exhibition, McNeill Gallery, Hertfordshire 2014
Studio Caneti, Jafa, Tel Aviv, group exhibition, June 2013
Culture Centre, Ariel, May 2013
Jerusalem Theatre, April 2012
Summer exhibition, McNeill Gallery, Hertfordshire 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011 Group exhibition, Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire 2007
Ticknall Summer exhibition, Derbyshire 2007
Ingleby Gallery, Derbyshire 2007
Ferrers Gallery, Derbyshire 2007
Spring exhibition, McNeill Gallery, Hertfordshire 2006, 2007
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists - Friends exhibition 2007
Group exhibition, Melbourne Festival, Derbyshire 2005, 2006
Spring exhibition, Nutley Gallery, Reigate 2005
Summer exhibition, Clairmont Gallery, Brighton 2001, 2002
Summer exhibition, Northcote Gallery, Clapham, London 1996, 1998 Christmas exhibition, Northcote Gallery, Clapham, London 1997
Group exhibition, Turtle Key Arts Centre, Fulham, London 1996 Wimbledon Gallery, joint exhibition with artist Neil Hague 1995
The Nature of Spirit - New exhibition full of Heart
Artist Robert Selkirk is here to bridge boundaries through his heart-opening paintings which are said by people seeing his art, to open their hearts with an optimistic, calm and joyous feeling. Originally British, Robert enjoys exhibiting to the Israeli audience as he loves how Israelis are very open in this way, energetically and that they feel very deeply. A magical and special recognition to his art.
Robert Selkirk is one of Israel’s successful artists currently selling many paintings each year. He now lives and paints to the demand for his work from his studio in Zur Hadassa, enveloped by the beautiful landscape of the Jerusalem surroundings.
How did you end up living in Israel?
“I grew up in England but my connection to Israel began in 1997 where I met my wife, Ariel. I was travelling in Thailand towards one of the Islands. I remember looking at a map of the Island and suddenly had an overwhelming feeling to go to one particular place on the island. I followed that map and it took me right to Ariel. I remember staring straight at the hut she was staying in, thinking that’s the place! That’s how we met. After living together in England with 2 children I had another urge for all of us to go and live in Israel. We’ve been here for 11 years and our third child was born here.”
This is your second exhibition at the Jerusalem Theatre, why is it important to you?
“We live in a country that has been torn by conflict. Sometimes we may feel internal conflict or perhaps we struggle with our thoughts when we experience life challenges. Going through my own personal challenges in Israel has shown me how to connect with this heart energy. These paintings connect with this energy and when we connect with the paintings, we may feel it. It is that inner sanctuary of peace many are searching for.
As an artist I feel blessed to be able to touch people through these paintings. I feel it is critical for people to find their heart connection because our world right now is dominated by conflict, confusion and distraction. It is everywhere and it is difficult to escape from the grip it has over people’s state of mind. However, each one of us can re connect with our heart and bring peace and wholeness back to our lives no matter what chaos is happening out there in the world.”
What changed for you as an artist when you came to live in Israel?
“I struggled in the beginning because I arrived here at the end of the hot summer, the dry and dusty landscape compared to the lush green I was used to was quite a contrast. However when spring came with all its colours it was breathtaking. I didn’t struggle so much with the light, as I had read about in art history of Israel, because the light here changes, especially around Jerusalem, the morning and evening light is not harsh - the same in winter so in that sense I could relate to this new Israel landscape with all its contrast and all its subtlety and this new spring colour. My main struggle however was that now, I was in a different country, I felt different. It was like a chapter had closed when I left England and I was starting a new one as an artist. I was connecting with the land here for the first time and felt a need to go inwards and explore my feelings. I began spending time in the nature here just feeling this land and how I was feeling being here.”
How would you describe your paintings now?
“My paintings are about connecting with my heart. When I paint, I am feeling a lot of energy, as if someone has turned up the voltage. It feels like time is suspended and I am absorbed in the painting process where I am completely connected with the canvas, the paint and the brush, pallet knife or cloth - it’s really like a dance of movement that is a fast explosive expression of this heart energy. It is a place of pure peacefulness but very energetic and spontaneous at the same time. It is a meditative state and this energy is a heart energy that is woven into the canvas by the colours, texture and form that are dancing and moving with this transformative energy.”
How did you arrive at this painting style and connecting with your heart?
“One year after that exhibition I started writing a book about this energy; describing something similar to an energetic generator in the heart that we can consciously turn on. After that exhibition my paintings completely changed from landscapes to more ‘geometrical heart energy instructions about the DNA’. This happened in a process of seeing these paintings while meditating and then painting what I was seeing. This was a five-year detour that showed me how to connect with this heart energy through a visualisation. At that point the visualisation would take me nearly an hour every day but I now connect with the same energy quickly and easily. I still do the visualisation every day, but it only takes me 10 minutes.”
Why did you choose not to be represented by a gallery in Israel yet?
“After 25 years of exhibiting with London-Galleries when I moved to Israel I had left all my paintings with the galleries in London so I was starting from scratch. It took me 4 years to paint around 60 new paintings and to have my first exhibition in Israel at the Jerusalem Theatre. My work sold straight away which was an uplifting experience and so I carried on from that momentum to successfully sell my art ,this way I didn’t need to approach any galleries. I am of course open to engage with anyone, a gallery or a treasurer, if they connect with my work – but it has to be a connection from the heart …”
Do your paintings have a message?
“As an artist my paintings are about bridging boundaries. When people see my paintings, many are struck by how they feel and will say how they feel their heart opens. It surprises me how many people tell me about how they feel - optimistic, calm, joy and many heart-centred feelings. It is also what I love about Israeli’s, they are very open in this way, I mean energetically. They feel very deeply. It’s very magical and special when people are moved like this.
I did not grow up in this country, into its cultures or its two main religions. My mind had so many challenges to be here in peace. I had to train myself to connect with my heart and allow what I was experiencing in a foreign land. The heart energy was and is like a safe place for my mind to find peace. These paintings connect me not only to the energy present in the land here but also to this heart energy that is within everyone.
We all have this heart connection no matter our religion, culture or beliefs. When we don’t have words as a means of communication, sometimes we can transcend the boundaries of the mind. It is an energetic communication that transcends the limitations of the mind - this is what I mean about bridging boundaries.