What is the Purpose?

Why illustrate creation myths? What is the point if it’s been done so many times? What could there be to it that we don’t already know?

It is truly a challenging task to redefine something anew which has been defined and redefined so many times before – mythologies have been used as a source of inspiration for lots of world famous motion pictures as well as, and especially, books and entire series; by infusing their work with a measured amount of established myth and legend, people like Shakespeare, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis create entire worlds, just as real as (and often based on) the Heaven we so often hear about, or Asgard, or Hades and so many other realms from different mythologies. And yet, we’re not talking about mythology as a whole, this exploration is of the roots of the cultural phenomenon, of Myths of Creation.

“In the enjoyment of a great myth we come nearest to experiencing as a concrete what can otherwise be understood only as an abstraction.” said C. S. Lewis in his essay Myth Became Fact. “Myth is the mountain whence all the different streams arise which become truths down here in the valley; in hac valle abstractionist (5) Or, if you prefer, myth is the isthmus which connects the peninsular world of thought with that vast continent we really belong to. It is not, like truth, abstract; nor is it, like direct experience, bound to the particular.” The ending to his essay is perhaps the most captivating (and relevant to my own studies) part of it, “God is more than a god, not less; Christ is more than Balder, not less. We must not be ashamed of the mythical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about “parallels” and “pagan Christs”: they ought to be there-it would be a stumbling block if they weren’t. We must not, in false spirituality, withhold our imaginative welcome. […] For this is the marriage of heaven and earth: perfect myth and perfect fact: claiming not only our love and our obedience, but also our wonder and delight, addressed to the savage, the child, and the poet in each one of us no less than to the moralist, the scholar, and the philosopher.”

It is what I want to bring out to the public – a manifested personal experience of that which is only existent in the mind and soul. Even a trace of that scale of awareness of the world, not at a personal, familial, communal or national level, beyond even a planetary level can hint at our insignificance and through it unify us. When one is taken back to the beginning of time and space, one cannot help but experience something. And it is that something (which can most closely be regarded as a sense of awe), which is the same in everyone, which is the physical manifestation of a mutual connection, an understanding of a higher level, a unifying factor if you will between all of us on earth. Perspective, Empathy, those words become amplified by their own resonance – your viewpoint is exalted, you observe a creator in action, THE Creator in action… when one has transcended the barrier of mundane thought, of the opaque fog that is the material world and the “normalities” of day-to-day life, that is when one truly starts becoming aware of the world they are a part of… together, side by side with everyone and everything else. By putting things in perspective, we may come to realize that our personal problems become insignificant in the wake of wars, destruction and terrorism fuelled by the greed, blind hatred and petty differences of a certain few. It is the larger part of humanity that craves a peaceful life of love and cooperation, and to get there I hope my work to be a peaceful catalyst.
One People. One Planet. One Life. One Love.

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Room

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A2; ink, marker, gouache, watercolour, acrylic;

Main explorations and experiments:
First person perspective and (an imagined) Fish Eye effect.
Technique and the influence and interaction between different media.
A range of possible Ideas and Meanings.

I don’t know what made me draw that room exactly – I decided to take a break from briefs and just paint, without directions or ideas; experiment and see what happens. What I came up with soon after was to create a painting of a room… backwards. A somewhat reverse process of painting and mark-making. The main idea was to put the touch-ups first, then the paint, then the outline and then the sketch. While doing it I decided not to add the sketch because it’s not always necessary and it just felt like it would be too influenced by what’s already on the paper. As a compromise I plan to make the sketch on a separate acetate sheet and try it out by layering the image.

Once I started working on the idea I immediately started questioning it. We’ve been told time and time again how important meaning and context are. But then I realized I had nothing to question, as if all the answers were there already.

I used the layout of my room back home for inspiration which immediately made the painting much more personal, connected to a place which in turn evokes certain emotions and feelings. What I did not want to do was paint my room. So how can I see my room as a room which is not mine?

Time. Our apartment building was built in 1929. I considered the fact that probably several generations of inhabitants had passed through this place, each changing and re-incorporating the room to their own characters and their own desires. Then there was my family and I, and then there would be more people to come. My room was other people’s room and it will be other people’s room.

Remembering my reverse painting process, I realized I have already incorporated the notion of a time flow (though distorted) into my work and that made the two ideas fit together like pieces of a puzzle I didn’t know I was doing.

My main idea became to mix past and present and remove all presence. The focus is therefore left on the room itself, letting the viewer notice the perspective (observer’s point of view, someone entering the room). I want to remind the viewer of the experience of entering a new room, not knowing what it looks like.

This time the viewer is shown a room in a fluid form. Time and space are shifted, bended even, letting the room exist in a dimension where all its re-appropriations overlap into a single moment, a single harmonic personal space. It exists only now and only to the viewer. Just like a passing thought. Maybe of the future, or maybe a memory.

Each single component of the room (the sofa, the paintings, the lamp, etc.) has its own significance and meaning, all related to past memories and experiences of mine, or fascinations and interests.

The weather out the window also fits the main idea since it is undetermined but for the fact it’s daytime.

I am happy with the outcome mainly because I had the chance to do something I wouldn’t normally go for. I challenged myself and created something out of nothing. I let the ideas develop naturally rather than stick to the same thing from the beginning, enforcing my main idea even further.

Houses part 1

Drawings of interesting buildings from photos that I found while I was browsing Tumblr. I believe these will be helpful with both the individual and the collaboration project.

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Constellation 1: Post-Perspective

When I took my seat in the lecture hall I had prepared myself for something… that couldn’t keep my attention at the least. Something boring and uninteresting in other words. I was happy to be proved wrong, though.

It was Dr. Jon Clarkson who told us about the possibilities, choices, chances and implications of views and viewpoints and how important they are for a piece of art, whether it is a painting, a photograph, a sculpture or anything else. I was taken by surprise by the topic and I definitely had a good time, because when it came to an end I wondered why it felt like it had begun only minutes ago… I learned quite a few interesting things on that lecture and my notebook was filled with useful information. When I got home I checked the people whose names were mentioned in the lecture and their work, which was absolutely fascinating.

But when I thought about it, there was something that I noticed during the lecture (that my friend also saw) that didn’t leave a good impression. What Dr. Clarkson did was split the topic into four sub-topics (this was good) and whenever he introduced a new sub-topic he explained it only vaguely and he showed us works of different artists connected to the point he was trying to make. The problem was that the connection between one artist and another and the connection between one work and the other didn’t really stand out and Dr. Clarkson didn’t really help point it out. I’m not saying that he did no explanations—he said a lot—it’s just that he didn’t manage to connect the things he was explaining all that well.

But let’s not dig deeper into that. What’s important is that I learned new things and I believe I can already start putting them to practice.

03.10.2013