Finding Universal Oneness in a Courtyard

Majlis Gallery Courtyard Dubai

The Majlis Gallery is the oldest art gallery in Dubai.  When we ducked through its entrance, I was delighted to find myself in an interior courtyard.  Opened in 1979 in an old Bastikiya wind tower house, it was the kind of place I always imagined we would live in.

We strolled under the Christ’s thorn tree through the central courtyard.  A gallery and working studio, a man was busy framing as a woman painted.  In the main gallery Lynette Ten Krooden’s landscapes were on display.  And the owner, Alison Collins, was trying to soothe a crying baby in a pram.

“My grandson is so tired,” she said.  “I am waiting for my daughter to come back.  Please take a program.”

I admired Krooden’s paintings before crossing into another room.  A man was seated on the sofa working on a large painting.  We greeted each other.

“You are working today,” I said nodding at his paint palette.

“Actually I am on vacation but decided to come in and do some work while it is so hot outside,” he said.

I took a step closer to see what he was working on.  It was a large maroon and green circle with intricate designs like a Tibetan mandala.

Artist Stephen E Meakin at Majlis Gallery in Dubai

He began explaining to me how Orchis 7 was created.

“Seven, you know, is the number of the days in the week corresponding to the creation of the earth, the seven colors of the rainbow and the seven heavens where the order of the angels dwell.  Seven is the universes’ dynamic wholeness. ”

He pulled out his compass and ruler and continued to explain the relationship between the circle and the triangle.

I was talking to Stephen E. Meakin the Sacred Geometer.

As Meakin described how a circle can be divided and the symbols he included in his work, I listened with wonder.   Of all the artists I could have met, I found it amazing I met the one whose work was based on Pythagoras’ sacred geometry.

The first philosopher, Pythagoras said

“All Things consist of Three.”

Sacred Geometry Triangle

α2 + β2 = γ2

Pythagoras taught everything in nature could be divided into three parts and no one could become truly wise if they did not view each problem as being diagrammatically triangular.

“Establish the triangle and the problem is two-thirds solved” Pythagoras said.

For nearly a half an hour Stephen Meakin and I discussed sacred geometry.  My sister and mother wondered in and joined our conversation.   The feeling that somehow this meeting was Divinely contrived stayed with me the whole time.  I asked him whether I could take a photo and thanked him for explaining his ideas.

“To me each painting is sacred,” Meakin said.  “But in the end it really is just art, isn’t it?”

The Majlis Gallery is open everyday except Friday.  They acknowledge parking can be difficult.  They make some suggestions on the website.

Stephen Meakin’s Desert Rose exhibit is currently at the Dubai Fairmont Hotel.

CYGNUS  – The Swan is one of the paintings.

Cygnus by Stephen E. Meakin Acrylic on Canvas

About Cygnus, Stephen Meakin writes on his website:

“The Enneagon is an extraordinary polygon with mystical connotations.  It is very seldom used in sacred architecture, even though it is the highest number that consists of one digit.

The number nine is full of symbolism.  It consists of three triads announcing the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. The human embryo needs nine months of growth before birth. Egyptian, Celtic and Greek myths have an ennead of nine gods and goddesses, representing the entire archetypal range of principles.  Nine is the number of perfection.”

(Stephen 11/03/2012)

Although the paintings range from 3×3 to 6×6 feet, Meakin said “like feminine energy, the twenty paintings are hidden within a very masculine structure.”

If you feel some softness as you walk along the Fairmont’s marble hallways, stop and see whether you have stumbled upon one Stephen’s inspired circles.

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