travis bell ― balance and buddhism

Travis is best known for his Stupas. Pared-back spherical objects that rest precariously on top of each other are the 30-year-old artists’ interpretation of those large buddhist monuments which house precious religious relics.

“Buddhism aims to find the truth, and clay is truthful. It is a very honest medium,” Travis explains. “There is beauty in the raw earth. It doesn’t need to be glossed up. Simplicity is beautiful. Unadorned is beautiful.”

In fact, the clay itself becomes the focus in the ceramics that Travis creates. He doesn’t use it as a canvas for glaze, rather with rich earthy tones that range from reds to browns and greys, clay becomes the canvas. Travis also points out this medium gives an artist endless possibilities, describing ceramics as “formless and open-ended and not defined by a piece of paper or block of stone.”

Ironically, Travis’ art is a direct contrast to every other facet of his life. He calls himself “a chaotic person” who lives a free-flowing and unstructured life governed by whims, but whose art is “very sharp, controlled and disciplined.” Perhaps this streamlined balance in his work, helps Travis achieve that balance in life so revered in Buddhism.