EDITOR JOHN DRABBLE   605-2445                                THE VANCOUVER SUN                                            SATURDAY JANUARY 22,  2000

Shrouded figure lifts artist to international award for logo design

NEW LOGO:   Padam's winning hooded monk design in the $15,000 international contest to find a new logo for the liqueur Benedictine.

Spiritual artist puts new head on lid liqueur


   An eclectic Vancouver artist known as Padam has won $15,000 by creating a distinctly spiritual new face for a famous 500-year-old French liqueur, Benedictine.
   Padam's multiple images of the hooded head of St. Benedict, the founder of the religious order after whom the liqueur is named, was chosen as the best of 250 submissions in a global logo-design contest sponsored by Benedictine, whose recipe was concocted by a monk during the Renaissance.
   “ The people at Benedictine's wanted their image of the new millennium to pertain to St. Benedict and refer to the ageless of the Benedictine order. A lot of the other entries didn't really do that so that might be why I won, ” said Padam, whose given name is Morley Wiseman.
   “ It was a great 2000 surprise when I was told on New Year's Day that I'd won this. It's nice to be appreciated with a monetary award,” said Padam, a former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada who now paints, sculpts and teaches ballet and top-level Canadian figure skaters.


  NEW LOOK FOR AN ANCIENT DRINK: Padam, and a sculpture that provided inspiration for his award-winning design in an international contest to find a new look for that ancient liqueur Benedictine.

has colourful past
    Padam, 64, came to create the rainbow-coloured, stained-glass-like new logo for Benedictine, one of the most expensive liquerurs in the world, after a convoluted artistic and personal religious journey.
    He was raised a Roman Catholic in Saskatchewan and, after his ballet career wound down, spent two years in the early 1980's as artist-in-residence at a Benedictine-run monastery in Mission.
    As well as working at Mission with the Christian artist Father Dunstan Massey, Padam chose to live the Benedictines' rigourous monastic life, complete with the monk's hood that became the inspiration for his contest-winning logo.
   “ The men at the monastery in Mission are very excited that I've received this,”  Padam said Friday in his small apartment in Vancouver's West End, which is filled with paintings and sculptures of everything from naked dancers to the Virgin Mary.
   Padam will be flown to France in March to receive his prize money and witness the official launch of the new logo, which can be found on the Internet at www.benedictine2000.com or www.wiseman-padam.com.
   The Benedictine web site tells how a Venetian monk invented an elixir based on 27 plants and spices that was produced by monks until the recipe was lost during the French Revolution. It was rediscovered in 1863 by a French notable, who then created the renowned drink he christened Benedictine. It's prepared today in a palace-like distillery in Fecamp, a town north of Paris.
   Although Padam is no longer a Roman Catholic, but a follower of the late Indian religious guru Bhagwan Dhree Rajneesh, he believes he was closely connected in what he calls a past life, or an earlier incarnation, to St. Benedict.
   The 81 miniature images of St. Benedict's head that Padam used for the Benedictine liqueur logo (which will be unveiled in ads under Padam's suggested slogan, “A Head of Its Time”) were taken from a life-sized bust Padam sculpted in the 1980s of a stylized St. Benedict.
   Even though Padam is now a spiritual teacher within the movement begun by Rajneesh — his full title is Swami Deva Padam — he doesn't see any contradiction between his so-called New Age beliefs and his admiration for the early Christian leader.
   And although Padam is not much of a drinker, he also appreciates the irony that he won a major international design prize by inventing a logo for a high-end type of liqueur he doesn't drink.
   “ Benedictine is beautiful strff. I drank some a long time ago when our ballet company travelled through Europe.
   But I don't drinkit now because it's just too expensive.”