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[Art/Spirituality] Miri Collins

Introducing our new resident creative from New Zealand, a multi talented artist inspired by esoteric teachings, human nature & the natural world.

Miri's incredible illustration resonated with us so strongly that we had to find out more about her. Our conversation with her below is an incredible insight into the creative process of her mystical art and the ideas that have inspired her thinking and the psychedelic style of her work.

We're completely in love with this PSYCHIC GARDEN artwork she created...

What artists / movements / themes have inspired your work ?

Surrealism seems like an essential movement! The mixture of the absurd with the fantastical and magical really resonate with me. As too, does the idea of tapping into the unconscious mind and processes like automatism. In the traditional sense of surrealism artists like Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali are strong influences. I love the surreal more generally though, not just in art but also in film and literature.

Alejandro Jodorowsky is a major inspiration (he is probably my favourite creative being!), as is David Lynch. I love how Lynch has a way of working in the language of dreams, so much so that there is a feeling of intangible mystery but also familiarity on a more subconscious level in his work.
In literature, Jorge Luis Borges, Roberto Bolaño and Haruki Murakami write in a magical realist style and paint surreal, multilayered and intricate worlds with words and this has long inspired in me a desire to do something like this in my own artistic practice.

What is your personal relationship with spirituality and how does that inform your artistic practice

I would say I am on an exploratory path when it comes to spirituality and I hope to always be an explorer in this sense! I grew up in a very christian family and this has definitely had an influence on me but is also something which I spent my early 20s moving far away from and am still working to undo the threads of conditioning it had woven into my psyche.

I strongly believe in the power of intuition and the infinite possibilities this life holds if one is open to them. I am interested in different traditions and always enjoy meeting people who are also exploring different belief systems. Given my upbringing as well as my desire to question truth and everything really, I have had a rather tense relationship with organised religion and prefer a more perennial approach to spirituality.

I have definitely softened in the last few years and always endeavour to maintain a receptive attitude. Ultimately I think it all comes down to love and energy, frequency and vibration and any spiritual system is a way of interpreting this. Trust is key. It is a that I will spend my whole life on.

Spirituality informs my artistic practice in terms of inspiration often coming from dreamscapes or images found in meditative states as well as my exploration of and attempts to understand symbols and ideas across different spiritual traditions. I also vibe strongly with Jung's idea of a collective consciousness so will often do a type of automatic drawing using words chosen at random or given to me by others to come up with an artwork. Shadow work is also something that has come to the fore in the last few years and creating artworks around this has been a theme I have been exploring.

What do you find most interesting about esotericism ?

I find all the symbols and tools used really interesting, particularly the tarot, astrology and sacred geometry. Each of these seem to hold their own language that can be used as a medium to understand existence. I love alchemical art as well, the way it is laden with philosophical and spiritual ideas that blur religious, magical and scientific lines. Really I have only dipped my toe into this realm and have so much more seeking to do.

How does nature inspire you and your work ?

Nature is a constant inspiration, down to the tiniest thing like the beat of an insect's wings or the patterns found on a leaf. I feel like my eyes are continually in a state of being awakened to the brilliance of nature from the very miniscule to the macro level of the universe. In my work I love incorporating found natural objects or patterns I come across in nature. I really enjoy detail and can happily spend a large amount of time focusing on intricacies. I also really enjoy contrasting a rather detail laden drawing with a somewhat minimal photograph of some oddity or object I find in nature.

What advice do you have about finding creative flow in your practice and being 'in the zone', any routines or things you do that help you ?

This is something I need to work on constantly depending on where I am at, at any given point in time! I would say for me doing creative exercises to loosen up can help if I am feeling out of flow. But also maintaining a healthy life balance in which my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies are nourished definitely enhances this. In getting to know myself more over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that things often come in waves, so I won't beat myself up if I am not feeling inspired at a certain point, but I will always try to be creative in some shape or form.

You can discover more of her artwork at & via her Instagram @bittersweet_joy !



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