Acrylics on Canvas
Format: 70x140 cm
Painting and Text:
The unfinished painting: second state (December 2005)
Double Rudraksha - bridging the gap!
Basically this new theme of 'double connected' or even 'mirrored' rhombs, is possibly about the interconnectedness of dimensions. The dimensional interlacing between earthly (somatic sensible) and heavenly realms (supernatural-invisible). The central visual metaphor in this painting is about bridging or bypassing, the bridging of the gap between earth and Heaven.
The twin rhombs seem connected by some sort of funnel.
Behind the funnel some kind of black cross stands out. On top of it there´s an imprint of an outstrechted hand - it´s a crucifixion.
The theme of 'Twin Rhombs' came to me winter 2005.
Building this painting was longsome since so much other things went on simulteanously. It was worth the trouble.
Some ideas just pop up, fresh and sharp. Others, so it seems, take their time. Theirs is a sluggish nature, full of nonlinear patterns. Seemingly out-of-focus, mere elusive whispers. They germinate slow, and pick up speed even slower, almost reluctant and even demoralizing.
At some point I pick up the wake-up call and start paying attention.
From that point on, I am fully aware that a new theme is actually entering my psychic horizon. My mind brings into focus that something opens up in an uncanny way. Intuitive learnings help me enlarge my understanding of what the unfamiliar theme is possibly all about.
In basic this new theme of 'double connected' or even 'mirrored' rhombs, is possibly about the interconnectedness of dimensions. The dimensional interlacing between earthly (somatic sensible) and heavenly realms (supernatural-invisible). The central visual metaphor in this painting is about bridging or bypassing, bridging the gap between earth and Heaven.
Partly I keep painting intuitively ('blindsighted' if you like), and partly I start analysing (filtering and objectifying my assocative learnings).
This double balance strategy helps me chart the course. As navigating into unknown territory of knowledge and genuine learning can be disorienting. The translating process has some unique thrill about it. Tracking down 'fields of meaning' into a symbolic-psychic visual code (the building of a visual metaphor really) is an adventure on itself. Metaphors happen to be our basic tool kit to communicate and transfer meaning (f.i. scientific insights, or emotional experience, etc.). They´re pivotal in helping us constitute new 'language potential'. Not all (visual) metaphors are equally potent, often design is needed!
Gathering new insight is often the crux of accomplishing this kind of paintings. Likewise, new insights of theological-philosophical nature are often conveyed by means of the painterly process.
Threads of learning - some random notes:
I recall that I had already been working some time on this idea of 'twin rhombs' when I came across of a photo of the giant installation 'Marsyas' (2002). Made by the Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. Marsyas consists of three huge steel rings joined together by a single red PVC membrane.
Seeing the photograph of this installation exhibited in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London, it immediately hit me that to some extend (if I am not mistaken, that is), there are (at least in my opinion) some intrinsic similarities between what Kapoor seems to explore and what I am tracking myself. Two similarities are intruiging to me:
The elastic streched funnel structure and the reddish-brown color (like iron oxide (rust), a color that Anish Kapoor frequently uses).
Also interesting to me is Kapoor's intrinsic ideological angle: a mixture of modern-contemporary art (for instance: sculpture/installation as process performance) with hunches of mythological and (as I feel it) Hinduistic contexts. Although, so I´ve heared it say, Anish Kapoor often disclaims having any "message" as such. However, he admits that though art is essentially about illusions, we humans are able to reach very deep truths through art. I guess a lot of people would agree that his work often does show layers of spiritual meaning. Though I understand that Kapoor´s preoccupation as a sculptor is with visceral space and the non-objective qualities of perceptible objects.
→ Anish Kapoor: Artist´s Talk - February 2003
The title Marsyas refers to Greek mythology. A satyr named Marsyas challenged the god Appolo, after losing the contest, Appolo nailed Marsyas against a holy tree, flaying the demigod alive for his hubris to challenge a god. According to some mythographers, the blood of the flayed satyr caused a river to well up in Phrygia (Turkey). This river is called Marsyas and possibly due to high levels of iron oxide is of reddish color. The color of blood was associated with divine judgement.
Conceivable, this myth is about presumption, about falsely confusing the immortal and divine dimensions with the mortal dimensions that are fallible and evanescent. A warning against criticizing divine authority. Many have taken the myth also as a warning of artists to stay humble in the face of great success. The Marsyas-myth deals with catharsis and clarification. The flaying can be taken as a metaphor for the afflictive stripping off of the mundane and earthly, in the process of gaining higher insight and wisedom. The subduing of the undamped lust principle. (Cf. German Wikipedia and English Wikipedia)
April 2006 I stumbled across the verbal metaphor of the 'double rudraksha' as used by a guru from India... again I find myself both hesitant as intruiged.
The 'rudraksha' is the marble sized, multi-faced, reddish-brown seed of a tree growing in the Himalayas. Spiritual power is associated with it, as Hindu people use it to make rosary beads. → Wikipedia
As to the 'double rudraksha'... this is a seed that has grown double, like conjoined. In fact a deformation (like siamese twins, or the phenomenon of two apples simply grown together). Also because of its exceptional rarity, the 'double rudraksha', is valued as a symbol of creation, the wedding of matter and spirit.
And though I may personally disagree strongly with many Hindu views and traditions, for a change I fully agree, that the phenomenon of a 'double rudraksha' is actually a wonderful metaphor to point out the siamese charakter of matter and spirit, of the invisible bonding of the earthly-natural world and the invisible-supernatural dimensions to it.
The word 'rudraksha' has a Sanskrit origin, litteraly means 'the red-eyed' (eye with tears). The word's meaning seems to be closely related to the Hindu godhead Shiva (the destroyer). → Wikipedia
And though I am not interested in this godhead, to say the least, the reddisch-brown color is of interest to me.
As a christian oriented artist I am not interested in the Hindu views as such. My objective is rather to find deeper insights or emotional-spiritual-esthetical truth, using sound human judgement as well as possible information sources outside christianity (since one can indeed and always learn much from others!), while at the same time avoiding any untruthful collapsing into for instance pagan-religious ideas and mindsets.
As far as I know the geometrical figure of the 'rhombus' (or diamond) has often functioned as a basic symbol for earth, entrance or gateway. That has always intruiged me. There must be good reason why this geometrical figure has a long-standing and fine tradition as symbolic decoration of gates and front doors (especially in traditional wood carvings). In my work I often used the rhomb (or diamond shape) as a visual metaphor focussing the bypass of the natural-earthly and the supernatural-transcendently dimensions.
And as I found myself dealing with 'siamese rhombs' and its spiritual-symbolic meanings, I definitely feel encouraged and positively supported by the presence of Anish Kapoor's Marsyas endaviour, as well as enlightened by the Indian guru´s metaphor of the 'double rudraksha'.
Can it come as a suprise, that by mere spontaneity and without any foreknowledge whatsoever, I actually happened to use almost exactly that particular reddish-brown color for my 'twin rhombs' !? Only later on did I learn about the mere existence of the same-color seed from the Himalayas and the guru´s speech about the metaphor of the double rudraksha. It really shouldn't be a secret that guided intuition and spontaneous inspiration are all about a person's... spiritual source!
Copyright Artborne Erdeborn / Merlevede