Gilah Yelin Hirsch: Artist Honored at International Conference for Energy Medicine
Gilah Yelin Hirsch was presented with the 2010 Alyce and Elmer Green Award for Innovation at the 20th annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine (ISSSEEM) June 25 through 29 in Westminster, Colo.
Hirsch, a professor of art at California State University, Dominguez Hills, was recognized for her theories on the correlation between science and art as well as her extensive research and creative work in a variety of media on the relationship between forms in nature, human physiology, and the alphabets of the world. She discovered and developed this theory in the early 1980s and presented it in her 1995 film, “Cosmography: The Writing of the Universe.”
She is now at work on a second film that focuses on the commonality of the origin of all alphabets, which stem from five patterns in nature that mirror the shapes of neurons and neural processes of perception and cognition. With “Reading the Landscape,” viewers will be given a look at many different world cultures through art, architecture, music, landscapes, food, family structure, and language by representatives of Hispanic and Native American tribes and countries including Kenya, Egypt, Israel, China, Britain, Russia, North Pole Eskimo, and Tibet. The original alphabets of these countries will also be featured in the film, giving viewers a glimpse of the the native language and also a realization of the common threads that join people across the globe.
“It will be evident that while cultures vary radically in external manifestations –
topography, dress, ritual, philosophy, social structure – at heart and in our bodies we are more alike than different,” says Hirsch. “Much like human cells, which must communicate with each other to remain healthy, communication and loving relationships are the essence of all cultures.”
As one of the key speakers at the ISSSEEM conference, Hirsch presented “Biotheology, Imagery and Healing: An Exploration into the Relationship between Calcium and Bodhicitta,” and shared her exploration of the psychophysiological affects of the Tibetan Buddhist tantric visualization practice of bodhicitta (compassion) as it parallels the ingestion of the mineral calcium. Through the use of art, biochemistry, psychiatry, medicine and theology, Hirsch showed how behavior that promotes the greater good is intrinsically healthy.
“The highly structured Tibetan practice of visualizing compassion as a white sphere that systematically nourishes every cell and organ of the body, catalyzes clinically measurable psychophysiological changes in the body,” says Hirsch. “When one is physically feeling better, one is freed to feel more compassion towards others. Similarly, when one is acting more compassionately, there is less stress on the body and one feels better physically. It is significant to realize, however, that an individual’s experience of pain also provides the opportunity for greater empathy toward others. Once we understand that we universally suffer from lack of congruent communication and thrive in reflective interrelation, we can focus our behavior toward the greater good.”
Hirsch will speak at an international festival of “Shamanism and Art” presented by the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Science. The event will take place Aug. 3 through 9 in the Republic of Buryatia, Tunka Region, Siberia. She will present her paper, “Artist as Shaman. Conjuring Healing: Imagery, Bio-theology, Health and Right Action.”
“Over a period of 40 years, I have come to understand that my life as an artist parallels the life of a shaman in many ways,” says Hirsch. “This idea has been corroborated by witnessing ritual and practice in the many cultures I have both lived in and visited. This presentation, based on personal experience, focuses on imagery as a powerful vehicle for physical and emotional healing, and recognizes the body as the repository of intuition, creativity and intrinsic knowledge leading toward behavior benefiting the greater good.”
Hirsch recently published “The Traveling Exhibition: 2005-2009.” The catalog features paintings from her “Diamond,” “Patince,” “Column” and “Landscape” series, as well as works from other series. This comprehensive exhibition traveled from 2005 to 2009 to six galleries in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and the Ukraine. The book was designed by John Lionel Pierce, graphic artist in the Office of University Communications and Public Affairs and a part-time art department instructor, with a foreword by Kathy Zimmerer, director of the University Art Gallery. It is available through Hirsch’s website or www.amazon.com.
For a look at Hirsch’s art, visit gilah.net.
- Joanie Harmon