Thursday, June 28, 2012

ADAM AND EVE...AND THAT TREE-Online Exhibition

                                   In The Garden of Eden Oil on linen 50 x 94 cm 2009
                                                                     Previous post HERE

Regular readers may have previously seen, what I call, my Adam and Eve paintings. But, they will not have seen them all together.

I am currently working on a painting which is inspired by ideas of galactic horizons. So, in the meantime here's an online 'exhibition' of my Adam and Eve paintings! I really enjoy this small series.

The story of Adam and Eve is shared by the three Abrahamaic religions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Note the word shared! Yes, we are connected through shared stories, across time, religions and cultures. Stories are like branches of trees, reaching out, rustling together, shedding leaves, dropping seeds, blooming with flowers, reaching for light. Stories are also like the roots of trees, burrowing down to unseen depths, entwining with other roots, anchoring a tree, and giving it strength and sustenance.

Stories can anchor us at the same time as giving seed to relationships, understanding and compassion. However, the light of potential, depends on how willing we are to explore the metaphors, nuances and symbols embedded in age-old stories.

In The Garden of Eden [above] the figures of Adam and Eve are like tree trunks, with branches emanating from their heads and roots radiating from their feet. Life flows through them and beyond. Tree branches meet and cross over, forming a sacred feminine symbol of fertility and life. The trees are symbolic of the age-old transcultural/religious motifs of the tree-of-life and the tree-of-knowledge.

The Colour of Knowledge Oil on linen 62 x 82 cm 2009
Previous post HERE

The Colour of Knowledge depicts the creation of Eve as she is formed from a sleeping Adam's rib. However, for me, this is the 'birth' of the feminine force which exists within us all, male and female. It is the force of life, which knows no gender. In this painting Eve, whilst still connected to Adam, takes from the tree-of-knowledge. Until this moment, the entities called Adam and Eve existed in a whiteness where presence was felt, but not visible. Indeed, once Eve took from the tree, they realised their nakedness and covered themsleves. I imagine that with the arrival of antimonies, represented by the visibility of gender differences, the world cascaded into colour with its multitude of hues and shades. Colour is symbolic of knowledge existing in the distance and spaces between opposites.

                                                   Paradise Oil on linen 52 x 82 cm 2009
                                                                     Previous post HERE

Paradise is a painting where I explore the concept of knowledge as paradise. In this painting Adam and Eve are connected to a cascading multicoloured tree. It is both the tree-of-knowledge and the tree-of-life. The idea that paradise is a 'place' in the outer physical world is enticing. But, I think the promise of paradise, through knowledge, is really about an internal experience deep within our psyche.

She was not made out of his head to surpass him, nor from his feet to be trampled on, but from his side to be equal to him, and near his heart to be dear to him. [Jamieson-Fausset Brown Bible  Commentary] Oil on linen 80 x 120 cm 2009
Previous post HERE

The title of the painting above says it all really!

The story of Adam and Eve is often used to justify a blanketing and suffocating blame game against women. After all, its all Eve's fault Adam was lead astray and evil entered the world! The blame game is often undertaken under the guise of humour, but insidious infiltrations into cultural psyche have been dangerous. However, for me at least, the introduction of evil is merely another representation of the arrival of antimonies. In order to know who we are, we need to know who we are not. Antimonies help us work this out!

The shared story of Adam and Eve is rich with metaphor and symbolism. It is a story which can be explored time and time again. The ability to know who we are, by also knowing who we are not, is a journey not only for the individual, but also the human race. Its called experience, in all its physical, emotional, psychic, spiritual dimensions. It is unfortunate that literalness often stymies the journey, by creating roundabouts with hidden exits. I believe these exits are revealed with a curiosity for symbolism, which ultimately takes you/us on a journey with no end. Like a tree, this journey branches out and digs below, as it seeds and blooms, connects and responds. Knowledge is not static, but alive.

  • My entry for the $25,000 Mandorla Art Prize in Perth is a finalist. The award is announced 10 August. I will upload an image once the exhibition is live!
  • Also, my book FOR EVERYONE is moving along! Check it out HERE



Lesley Synge said...

Fascinating. Beauteous. I love the intricacy of the branching and the complexity of your ideas of the sacred. Or is depth rather than complexity a better word? You're a profoundly thoughtful artist with the ability to nurture humanity. Keep painting and exhibiting!

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox said...

Thank you Lesley. I really enjoyed this series, painting and thinking about the paintings too. Oh yes....shall keep painting and exhibiting.