Luminous Bodies is a work of mourning and an exploration of the spiritual and historical forces that continuously vie to originate and then heal the rift between the body and the soul.
Inspired by many religious traditions of mourning, from The Tibetan Book of the Dead to Native American mourning rituals, the series of drawings is, in actuality, a spiritual journey begun by the artist a few days after the death of a loved one.
The Luminous Bodies Series consists of ninety watercolors chosen from over 200 watercolors by Melinda Camber Porter placed in six circles of “Celebration” and “Mourning.” Peter Trippi describes this as Camber Porter’s “own Cosmology” or a spiritual journey of the living and the dead with rebirths. Luminous Bodies is published in two volumes of forty-five watercolors in each.
Melinda Camber Porter on her inspiration for the Luminous Bodies Series:
"In order to produce art like Luminous Bodies you have to be like William Blake, absolutely fearless."
- Robin Hamlyn, Sernior Curator, Tate Britian
“Luminous Bodies reflects and celebrates the nexus of sensuality, the body, soul, literature and spirituality. The works are beautiful and speak to the core feelings within."
- Michele De Jong Kaiser, Book Reviewer
“The spirit of the Luminous Bodies books feel like a release of a beloved soul. I was taken with the beauty of the artwork to know that this was a method for mourning provided an emotional response to the images as they broke free of their surroundings. These books are filled with amazing artistry. Anyone that loves sublime beauty in watercolor will appreciate the Luminous Bodies books. I was touched by the simplicity and the beauty. I give them 5 out of 5 STARS.”
Vicki Goodwin, Writer and Reviewer
As I read Luminous Bodies, Melinda Camber Porter’s words and viewed her reflections of those words in her visual watercolor art scenes, I was very moved by emotion. I felt I was intruding into her private diary or journal. It is almost painful to read her words as she expresses her feelings of love, longing and mourning.
I found her visual art expressive of a great depth of soul. Although the figures are presented as sensual interaction with the person she loves, the visual artistic dance of her pencil, pen, and brush are combining to express the total communion of body, soul, and mind. It does not matter if the scene is of joining in love or reaching out with longing, the viewer can feel the desperation of her feelings.
This compilation of work is a journey through the euphoria of deepest love and the devastating longing of loss. After reading the book, I felt bereft, as if I was in the midst of a personal grief.
Diane Lochala, Reviewer
This book put in me so much emotion. I read each writing for each painting and my heart was filled with sorrow, happiness, emptiness and fulfillment. The art of sight and the art of the written word put together made an amazing reaction to each word and painting for me. I absolutely love this book and recommend it highly to all. A remarkable and ingenious book. I will keep it in my heart for many years, and will continue to go back to it as time goes by. This is definitely one of books that is on my list to buy in hard cover for which is a justice that must be done with such a book as this book by Melinda Camber Porter, and it will be put right next to my books by William Blake. Absolutely wonderful and unique.
Robin Kowalski, Librarian