ELEMENTAL, The Power of Illuminated Love

Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love, the art of Luther E. Vann with poetry by Aberjhani (2008, ISBN 9780972114271 was published in conjunction with an exhibit of Vann's paintings at Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia.


  • The greater puzzle of universal wisdom and beauty that we have strived to honor through our work includes the profound legacies of world artistic and spiritual traditions, the innate integrity of human communities where people seek to live in social harmony, and that regenerative stream of life sustained upon the earth itself as it spins through the cosmos to the music of the spheres. It also embraces such simple and yet essential things as the psychic nourishment received from family and friends while growing up; and the welcoming kindness received from “strangers” when venturing forth into the world.
    • (Luther E. Vann, p. 2, A Personal Journey of Years)
  • Everywhere we shine
    death and life burn
    into something new,
    rise up like perfumed nebulae
    through the jubilant road
    flowing beneath our feet.
    • (Aberjhani, p. 70, Star People)
  • Drawing has always been a staple, a gratifying part of my being. It was the first creative act I knew. It is the first effort of a child to express perhaps what it cannot or will not express verbally.
    • (Luther E. Vann, p. 83, That Particular Language of Painting)
  • The image titled “The Homeless, Psalm 85:10,” featured on the cover of ELEMENTAL, can evoke multiple levels of response. They may include the spiritual in the form of a studied meditation upon the multidimensional qualities of the painting itself; or an extended contemplation of the scripture in the title, which in the King James Bible reads as follows: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” The painting can also inspire a physical response in the form of tears as it calls to mind its more earth-bound aspects; namely, the very serious plight of those who truly are homeless in this world, whether born into such a condition, or forced into it by poverty or war.
    • (Aberjhani, p. 111, from The Homeless, Psalm 85:10)
  • These creatures made of starbreath
    and visions must have seen you
    in those moments that stood like walls
    of alien genetics between your life and mine.
    They knew what you were like, vibrating
    your entire universe against the skin and tears
    of another, slowly crushing your skull
    between planets of intolerance and desire.
    • (Aberjhani, p. 118, from Sunrise Elegy)

Quotes About ELEMENTAL and Its CreatorsEdit

  • Even as I read the lush work of the poet, the corresponding reproductions reflected the words in yet another medium. The artist Vann works in paint that resembles colored fire—the kind that one knocks one’s head back to gaze upon in the night sky on Independence Day. Fireworks, nearly liquid fire, in every blazing color and few of them muted, but pure, in shivering and shimmering lines... The two artists are a perfect match, words as vibrant as image, image as emblazoned with fiery color as poetry. The occasional essay enlightens as to the inner workings of each, building anticipation for the pages ahead and beckoning return to the pages behind.
    • --Zinta Aistars, The Smoking Poet Art Begets Art Review 20 March, 2009
  • A beautiful book…the reproductions of the paintings are outstanding. The poems were inspired by the paintings, and make perfect companions for the reproductions.
    • Linda Sickler, "Elemental Finally," Connect Savannah, 4 June 2008

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