Melissa mahoney
Abstract Painter & Textile Designer


A single grain of rice — Paris, France

"Expressing total respect for a single grain of rice, is to express a total respect for the Buddha. Then we can understand that within this single grain of rice lies the absolute." — Eihei Dogen (1200 - 1253) Master of Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism.

The exhibition 'ONE GRAIN OF RICE' stands as an invitation to rediscover the universe through a selection of works of art of small size.

Each grain of rice, the Japanese say, houses 88 deities. This popular saying refers to the 88 steps that are necessary to the development of rice before being consumed. The symbolic number emphasizes that a mere grain, whose production has cost so much trouble and effort to men, is infinitely precious.

In our era of consumerism and excess, that a grain of rice should be like a universe is inconceivable !

Within a grain of rice, there are three thousand worlds. It is the vocation of the artist to reveal the mysterious ties that bind the Part to the Whole, and to demonstrate that the size of a work of art is for nothing in its evocative power. As small as it might appear to be, a work of art is a microcosm. Produced by man, fraction of the universe, it externalizes, condenses and summarizes the totality, just as a cell possesses all the attributes of the organism.

"There is nothing in the universe that is not contained simultaneously in man", taught Paracelsus. Man is a cosmos in reduction similar to the larger cosmos, the Macro-cosmos.

It is the artist’s mission to reveal that the universe is one. That the universe, whose structure is polycentric and reticular according to the latest scientific hypotheses, is a single living being, alive with the same vibrant energy. That man, shaped by the constant action of the cosmic influx is similar to the universe. That the Part - however tiny and ephemeral - is similar to the Whole. That the universe and humans beings act simultaneously on one another. And both are inextricably a single body.

This quote by Louis Pasteur appears to be an appropriate conclusion : 'The role of the infinitely small in nature is infinitely great.'

Juried show: GALERIE MÉTANOÏA, 56 rue Quincampoix 75004, Paris, France

Melissa Mahoney, three selected works, 6”x6”, acrylic on wood panel

Melissa Mahoney