Kamini (rhymes with Harmony) Gupta is an Intuitive Artist & Retreat Leader. As a professional artist and designer her 40 year career spans a wide range of experience including designing for theatre, publishing and marketing, teaching and facilitating arts workshops in schools, colleges and the community.
For a number of years Kamini led Creating Space Women’s retreats at Sharpham Trust Centre for Mindfulness in Devon, UK.
Currently working with paint and mixed media on canvas, her creative practice has included multimedia installation, ceramics, live art and moving image.
Kamini’s work has been featured in magazines, books, film, galleries, museums and in the homes of buyers from across the world.
My Spiritual Journey
“As a child growing up in India the very air that I breathed was infused with spirituality. Yet my Indian father and English mother chose not to give me a religious upbringing believing that this was a choice I must make for myself.
Though I couldn’t name it at the time I found solace and rejuvenation in art, nature and especially by the ocean, this was my spiritual home amidst the chaos of Mumbai life.”
In 1986 Kamini came to live in England and it was here her spiritual journey began in 1993 when she went on her first Buddhist silent retreat which changed the course of her life.
“Here I caught a glimpse of how much my authentic being was shackled by my conditioning. I left my ‘secure’ job and conventional life to do a degree in Theatre Design.
The world of theatre and learning brought me into my element creatively yet being at college as a mature student was challenging socially and I struggled to fit in. The isolation triggered a period of depression which brought me to the next turning point in my journey when I started therapy and art became my medicine.”
Jungian Art therapy switched on a light in the darkness opening Kamini’s eyes to the mysterious shadowlands of the unconscious and the magical symbolic realm of archetypes.
“The next fork in the road came in 1998 on retreat when I had, what I can only describe, as a mystical experience of intense sensations moving through my body.
Drawn to express this wild primal energy through my hands I found myself working with clay. The small figures that emerged were described by others as ‘tantric’ and at this point I had no idea what that meant.”
Kamini’s art and spiritual practice converged as she began her journey into Vajrayana Buddhism, Shamanism, Shaivism, Goddess cultures and mythology to discover what is described as Shakti, Kundalini, Source Energy, giving rise to the Goddess, Sacred Feminine, and Wild Woman archetypes across cultures.
“This is the source of a woman’s power, her wellspring of inner knowing, her deep womb/heart connection to the feminine creative life force of the Universe.”
Art is My Medicine
“Art is my medicine, when I create I connect with my centre of calm and connectedness; I enter a feeling of flow and inspiration and a profound sense of wellbeing. Images and visions that emerge bring insights and wisdom that inform my life.
At the heart of this exploration is the quest for transformation with the knowing that when I express through art (a dance, drawing, poem, song or performance), I am also exploring and healing something in my life. As I approach life this way, challenges, rather than being obstacles, become opportunities to be creative, to use my imagination and intuition, opening to new and healthier ways of being”.
In 2002 Kamini fell critically ill and had to have life saving surgery. The next seven years was a roller coaster of major life stress and trauma culminating in the sudden death of her husband in 2007.
Kamini took six months off work, stepped away from her career in the Arts and for the next 10 years and took a deep dive into her healing journey, exploring her inner world through journalling, writing poetry, meditation, movement and plenty of time out on the land.
“Needless to say I was knocked off my feet. My usual strategy of picking myself up and getting on with life wasn’t working, my body just wouldn’t let me. I had no choice but to stop and in this time I learned that healing is a journey, like the seasons, has its own momentum and cannot be rushed. My foundation in the Buddhist teachings, the practice of mindfulness, and my capacity as an artist to be creative and solution-focused in my outlook have without doubt been the essential anchors in my healing journey.”
In 2015 Kamini felt her creative impulse emerging again and started painting. She describes her process as working intuitively allowing the unfolding of what or who wants to emerge in the moment.
“My process is ritualistic, an act of worship, my studio a temple, my altar the canvas on which I paint my prayers. Images and visions that emerge bring insights and wisdom that inform my life.
This art making is a journey through ever changing inner and outer landscapes. I work intuitively, standing on the edge of not knowing is an ongoing journey to stay open, spontaneous and willing to be surprised.
A Soul Conversation through art with the symbolic language expressed in the archetypes of ancient myth, ritual art and ceremony; an engagement rooted in the natural rhythms and pulse of the Earth.”
In 2017 after ten years of privately exploring the relationship between her spiritual practice and her art Kamini took a leap of faith and went public with her first solo exhibition Soulscapes at Harbour House Gallery in Kingsbridge.
“ I have to say it was pretty terrifying to bare my soul as, up until this point, I was what I called a Closet Goddess worshipper! My spiritual life had been pretty private until this point and these paintings felt sacred, it was like inviting the public into the inner sanctum of my Soul Temple not knowing if they would tread softly or drag their muddy feet through it! ”
” A unique exhibition”….. ….”Utterly Divine”… …”Soul warming, celebratory images painted with so much stillness, insight and honesty”… ….”Every work is a world, full and inspirational”……” so moving, brought me to tears”…
Visitors response to Kamini’s Soulscapes Exhibition.
At this time in history, as never before, we are being called to take radical action to stop the destruction and restore the balance of the Earths eco system. There is a revolution taking place in the hearts of women and men across the world to dismantle the old ruling structures based on personal greed and power to embrace a new paradigm rooted in service, love and interconnectedness. Kamini’s passion is creating spaces for stillness, wisdom, and beauty to flourish.
“I want to be the change: Gandhi said ‘be the change you want to see in the world’, and I want to live a sustainable life, healthy in mind and body, with a work/life balance that allows for the heart to breathe in the beauty present in every moment. This is what I want for each one of us, a world in which we are at peace with ourselves and others, living in harmony with the Earth.”