"Vast is Heaven's net;

Sparse-meshed it is, and yet

Nothing can slip through it."

      - Lao Tzu

        the TAO TEH CHING


I am fascinated to repeatedly find the fish as a symbol with a rich history in a multitude of cultures and religions.  The vesica piscis or Vessel of the Fish was the yonic symbol of the Great Mother. The Hindu Matsyendra, Sanskrit for "Lord of the Fishes," was a fish turned human by Siva to disseminate the mysteries of yoga.  In Egypt, Isis became Abtu, the Great Fish of the Abyss.  The Christian fish-sign has been the symbol for Jesus Christ since the Roman empire.  Even in Pacific cultures, fish take on a divine quality.  Also, they exist in water; which in itself represents life force and spiritual purification.

Through this series, Kundan, I seek to create a nonreligious iconography, these goldfish are messengers of mindfulness, humor, joy, love, surrender, enlightenment and relationship to something greater than ourselves.  They are my Buddhas.

Inspired by the ideology of Yves Klein and the graphic representation of classic Asian art, personal and spiritual exploration has led me to that which distinguishes my art - thus the geometric grid background of monochromatic gold with its transformative qualities in direct contrast with the representational - the fish.

I chose the simple goldfish as my subject not only because of its inherent link to that with the historical symbolic context of the fish, but also because of a more basic psychological association - for many, our initial contact with a goldfish was that of a first pet.  I find goldfish to be both whimsical and beautiful.  They are luminous fluid movement.  They are such elementary creatures, yet can subtly seem all-knowing, existing constantly in the present.  

It is my wish that these paintings bring the viewer, as they have brought me, closer to understanding Self ultimately connecting with the cosmic source that links us all.  As we each continue to search for the Divine in our own unique ways, may we remember the fish and revel that we are swimming in It!

Thank you,


© Patrick Marston. FolioLink © Kodexio ™ 2017