Cameron Gray, Australian digital artist, creates scenes of the human potential. His works portray a peek through the veil, asking us, how can we be greater, live fuller and love deeper. From celestial visions to cosmic animations, Cameron is certainly a frontrunner in the digital art revolution. And with timing so divine, Cameron weaves together the dualistic aspects of light and dark, bringing them once again into a state of oneness.
Australia is a land rich in tribal lineage, environmental wonder, and a blossoming visionary culture. The western world is seeing many musicians, artists and visionaries emerging from down under. How does the Aussie culture influence your work? What unique creative alchemy is brewing in OZ is helping to evolve visionary culture as a whole?
Haha, I’m really not sure what’s happening here in Australia right now but it’s something unique and interesting for sure. The creative movements like film, visual arts and music are in a beautiful state of emergence and growth right now here. Australia is finally stepping out of the shadows and creating it’s own iconic scenes and visionaries. Some of the most powerful music and art I’ve experienced is coming from Australia lately, more than just a street sub-culture movement like in the last decade, but a complete visionary revolution. People are waking up and it’s an incredible thing to be a part of and to experience.
You do a lot of album art for the Australian progressive rock band, Dead Letter Circus and seems to be influenced by their music. What draws you to their sound? What are some of your other musical inspirations?
The music has always felt to me like they’re my own feelings and thoughts, I listen to a song and relate deeply to the music and the lyrics. It’s very honest music, it doesn’t pretend to know all the answers or dictate, it’s not afraid to ask questions or to feel vulnerable. There’s a lot of ‘just trying to understand the world’ themes in the music that I tend to relate more toward. Almost as if the music is the soundtrack to my own journey through life and my own creative process. I grow with the music and felt a strong connection to it ever since Kim (vocalist) first approached me in 2009. I cannot speak more highly of DLC. These guys lifted me up and brought me in and really made me feel a part of the DLC family. They’ve been there when I’ve been at my worst and seen me at my best, they are more than just a band I work for, they’re my brothers and my best friends. As far as other musical inspirations, I have many. Karnivool, Tool, Breaking Orbit, Rage Against The Machine, Paradigm Shift, John Butler, Smashing Pumpkins, Mastodon, Cog, Jatun. They’re pretty big influences on me. Karnivool is a huge influence on me, both as a person and an artist. Their “Sound Awake” album sits next to me on my concept board as a reminder to always put my heart as deeply into everything I do as often as I can. They’re a powerful band.
Your style bears great resemblance to visionary artist, Alex Grey in your ability to demonstrate the subtle energetic and psychic aspects, as well as the physical aspects, of the human body with incredible precision and glow. Is Alex an important inspiration to your work? Can you tell us about additional artistic inspirations and who you find to be pushing the boundaries in the visionary art world?
Absolutely, Alex is one of my favorite artists. I’m still only a very young artist and I receive a lot of beautiful emails from people who compare my work with his or think I’m his son haha. While it’s nice to receive such comments, I’m still only just discovering how I work and my own journey through understanding the world around me. When I look at Alex’s work I see a man who is very confident and understands a lot about the human spiritual condition.
I had an experience in 2011 which completely transformed me as a person and made me emerge with a brand new perspective on life. I’m a very naive person, almost too curious of things for my own good, life fascinates me and the world fascinates me. When I look at my own work I see a guy who’s trying to understand himself and the universe around him. Where as Alex appears to have found that understanding, I’m still very much learning, discovering and searching for it. As far as other artistic influences, the artist who made me decide to become an artist is David Ho. I saw his work at an exhibition as a troubled and lost 17 year old, one look at his work and I knew I wanted to create art. He was kind enough to exchange thoughts with me at the time and it helped direct me creatively into being able to express my feelings into something visual.
Your work does a great job of communicating duality, the light and the dark. Brilliant colors emerge from spacious darkness in a whirl of alchemical luminessence. It is a beautiful metaphor for the shift times that we currently inhabit, a vibrant new culture emerging from the vacuousness of the old paradigm. Can you tell us a bit more about your views on the duality of the light and dark in your art?
You’ve explained it pretty well really. If you go back through my work right back to the start, you’ll see it started off as something really dark and disturbing, then gradually as I grew and transformed as a person the artwork developed in the same way. I’m a sucker for hope and dreams and romantic endings, and I think that comes through in the work as a sense of ‘desire’, or something to aspire to. It’s very much what I seek in my own life, so hope is a very strong part of my messages. I don’t like my works to be very dark nowadays, I feel I’m passed that in my life, so the brighter colorful tones began to emerge in late 2010 and really started developing after a life changing experience in 2011.
Many of your works incorporate the divine human archetypes. Celestial figures born of a high dimensional resonance. How does the human vehicle inspire you and are there particular aspects of that you focus on? Are these depictions of our higher potentials or are you attempting to weave a relationship with sacred guides of some form?
It’s really an evolution or transformation of ourselves than a connection to some higher form of life. I think we can be as high a form of life as we dream we can be. If you want to become a better person, then just be a better person, it’s not hard to change things in our lives once we realize that everything we do and respond to comes from a single initial thought and then a corresponding response and reaction to that thought. The figures in the pieces, even if they appear to be of a greater spiritual dimension are really just representations of ourselves if we allow ourselves to be the best we can be as people. To love and dream as deeply as we can, to be inquisitive of life and to consider that every aspect of life is sacred and important in the universe, not just ourselves.
Many of the figures that you portray seem to be engaged in ceremony, communing with each other and the space around them. They almost seem to depict a sort of ceremonious or magical ritual. Can you give us some insight into the figures that you portray and what kind of event you perceive them to be taking part in?
People tend to get the wrong idea when the word “ceremony” is brought up but I think a lot of what we do, we do in a ceremonious manner everyday. Our daily routine of waking up, showering, brushing our teeth, eating, drinking coffee, going to work, etc, It’s a form of ceremony that we partake in each day without giving thought to it. And it’s similar in the scenes in the artwork, except the scenes are more toward personal discovery and spiritual growth. If we stand back and realize that most of what we do is already some form ritual in our lives, it allows us to view what we do with more gratitude and appreciation and to see what we do with more importance.
An example could be a simple consideration to where our food comes from before shoving it in our mouth and taking it for granted, being grateful to the creature we’re about to eat for the life it no longer has so that we can continue to live ours. Another example could be spending time with a friend, just hanging out or catching up for a coffee. The two people are giving a part of their lives to each other that they will never get back, they are giving a moment in their life to that person. Being aware of it helps make those small moments in your life become more important and a greater sense of gratitude emerges from it. You begin to have a greater appreciation for that person who has chosen to spend that moment of their life in your presence. It’s all about gratitude.
Astrological symbolism is sprinkled into many of the works that you have done and the sign of Scorpio is typically highlighted. What is your relationship to astrology, particularly Scorpio, and how does it influence your art?
Ilove symbolism, anything symbolic I’ll generally connect with and I think the zodiac symbols are some of the more defining symbols in our culture at least. The Scorpio is my symbol, I have it tattooed on my wrist and can always be seen with a Scorpio pendant around my neck that a special friend gave me a few years ago. Within the artwork I find I use the Scorpio as a way to bring myself into the work more, I see myself within the characters in the images and find it a way to connect myself with them. I wear a lot of bracelets and used to wear a lot of rings and things that have held various meanings to me at some point so they can often be seen in the pieces as well. Also, often my figures will have crooked little fingers as my two little fingers are both bent out of shape. haha. It’s probably most noticeable in the piece “If Only The Sky Would Disappear”. But not only symbols, I also hide small messages within the work, either thoughts of mine or quotes, etc that have had some meaning to me.
As the world of physics continues to dig deeper into the fabric that makes up our reality, we are beginning to see that nearly everything that the universe consists of can be traced back to the building blocks of a handful of shapes, otherwise known as sacred geometry. Although knowledge of these sacred blueprints have been safeguarded in ancient tombs and texts, knowledge of these geometries has been re-emerging through the visionary art world. Can you give us some insight into what sacred geometry means to you and how your work has been influenced by it?
I shyed away from sacred geometry for a while because I saw it for a long time as just a phase or buzz word people gave to patterns and shapes to give them some sort of meaning, but that perception changed when I was at art school, I became intrigued by the art of Cymatics which is the study of visual representations of sound waves. I built and developed my own Cymatics rig and for months was entranced at the beauty I was able to create by feeding sound frequencies from my laptop, through an amplifier and onto a small metal plate covered in different powders and liquids. I researched it as part of my Major at art school and through it discovered sacred geometry and fractal patterns.
Exploring Cymatics was fascinating, it’s amazing how altering a few different frequencies we can see forms of life, like leaves, trees, flowers, rivers, veins etc emerge, and even things such as galaxies, constellations and planets being formed, coming in and out of existence. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I learned that all of these microcosms of life were being formed from fundamental shapes and patterns, self replicating and transforming until becoming the shapes and objects resembling elements of life. That then took me to studying fractal patterns which takes the idea even further, something I still create and incorporate into my main artwork. I learned that through the universe’s incomprehensible complexities and intricate details, everything is fundamentally formed from something very humble and simple. Complexity comes from simplicity, which is where sacred geometry is so fascinating to me.
There is a digital renaissance occurring within the heart of the visionary movement. Evolving software is allowing digital artists to move into new, dynamic realms of creative freedom in a way that is truly pushing the artistic boundaries. Do you have experience with traditional artistic methods? What is it about the digital realm that speaks to your heart and your process? What sort of trajectory do you see this medium taking?
Yeah it certainly is, it’s exciting to me. I love technology and love the idea of using it in a creative way. I did study traditional art like sculpture, life drawing, painting and jewelry making, but always felt so much more freedom when handed a camera or some 3d software. I still maintain I’m one of the worlds worst drawers. haha. I have hand writing like a 5 year old, but my medium is digital and it’s a medium that I love and my heart is in.
I’m always keen to learn new skills and techniques and find new ways of bringing my dreams to life. I see film and animation becoming much more approachable to people and things like 3D art and modelling becoming increasingly more powerful and accessible in the next few years. I’ve had discussions with friends who are actors and film makers about creating animated films of my work, and I’m very excited by the opportunities that are beginning to present themselves. One of my biggest ambitions is to accurately create an animated film in my style of art with a strong human message for the world. It’s a big goal for me.
The Looking Planet Trailer
:: Directed by Eric Anderson :: Featuring Artwork by Cameron Gray ::
Is there a message that you would like to share with the world? Any advice for all of the aspiring creators out there?
Listen to everyone, take in what they have to offer, and then know when to forget what they say. Everyone will always have their own 2 cents for who you should be, what you should be doing and how you should do it. But deep down you already know what it is you want to do and the way you’re going to do it. Life is too short to be anything less than who you dream to be. Be inquisitive and let yourself have fun in this world. There is so much love to be shared, so much life to experience, and so much we have to discover about ourselves and each other.