Interview was conducted by Kritical Ear, who spoke with artist Omjaya
The land of enchantment attracts people on the spiritual path. What led you here to Questa? The wisdom teachers, the medicine givers, and the merging of the Indian and Spanish traditions. There is an energy here that is not seen but felt, and it’s both humbling and inspirational.
Now that you are in your 60s, you’ve changed your name again. Yes, I have. Growing up is the point of life, isn’t it? It’s not easy cultivating one’s maturity and rising into higher forms of consciousness. It requires teaching and effort. Omjaya is who I am striving to become, maybe that’s why I came to Taos. A mentor said to me, “Who we are now is what we have been, and who we will be is what we do now.” This is a great proverb.
A multi-disciplinary artist, where do you find your influences and inspiration?
Inspired by cave drawings and sand mandalas, I work with charcoal and pastels on paper, my fingers directly touching, blending, and creating bold lines that blend into space. This medium is very sensual and satisfying to me, The Dance-by Omjaya Maxwell is a method I use to begin and finish a composition in one session. As an artist I seek inspiration from nature and the cosmic world around us. A simple line — visual or musical — can alter the mind; a shape or sound can satisfy desire. Minimal and complete, this work encourages one to remember the sacredness of love, and is abstract enough to invoke a dream. We are surrounded by so much beauty and potential that is overlooked with the mind of struggle and chaos. It is a constant challenge to be in the state of love, gratitude, and compassion. That being known, the work I create is from a spiritual intention and a focused discipline. The ease at which this work flows from thought to creation is a testimony of a universal language, one that is all-knowing and rooted in sacred wisdom.
Omjaya, you were born and came from the water’s edge of California. How has living in northern New Mexico influenced you?
I see the same sun and the same moon. People are similar, they are talking of the potential of spirit life, or they are hiding behind an illusion that puts them in fear. The land of New Mexico is enchanting, romantic, and naturally mysterious. I’ve been told that the desert valley near our home is known as the “Valley of the Whales.” Yettis, UFOs, the Pueblo and the indigenous people who show us great wisdom: it’s all here if you seek it. I find that very influential, don’t you? Yes, I do.