Sunday, April 14, 2013


Landscape of Everything Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm
Calling a painting Landscape of Everything is either brave or ludicrous. I can live with both!
When I was painting this image I had many many different thoughts going through my head, cascading in and out, provoking panic, excitement, fear, wariness, joy and more. There were so many thoughts that when I came to give the painting a title, nothing seemed adequate, until I came up with Landscape of Everything.
So, what were the thoughts going through my head? we go.
I wanted a cosmic appearance, but an ambiguous one in terms of perspective, orientation, place, and consciousness. The viewer can variously see many things...well that's the plan! Are you looking from a space ship back at the Earth? If so, which coloured ball is Earth? Are you on Earth looking out to space? Or are you peering into something much smaller? Or is the image a play on imagination, dreams? Maybe it is a 'landscape' of the subconsious, that place where dreams are conjured?
Maybe the painting dances with imagination and postulation? Indeed, at one stage I imagined each  of the balls being other universes. The concept that we live in a multiverse is really very exciting. I've written about this before in a post called MULTIVERSE and in another called MULTIVERSE POSSIBILITIES  Whilst modern cosmologists postulate about a multiverse, the idea provides wonderful metaphoric possibilities for individual human psyches, plus the whole of humanity's psyche/collective [sub]consciousness. Maybe the painting is a 'landscape' of humanity's psyche, a promise of a far more multi faceted dimension and fate than we have ever dreamed?

Landscape of Everything also relates to my previous post and painting On My Travels I Saw
Now for a bit of fun....maybe the coloured balls in Landscape of Everything are the other universes hinted at in my earlier painting Multiverse [below]. In Multiverse you will notice the little portals/eyes dotted around the tree-of-life...portals to other universes!!! Maybe we have travelled through them... or about to?
Multiverse Oil on linen 80 x 100 cm
I was also thinking about the space imagery we see in books and on the internet. Some are photographs taken by various means, artists'/illustrators' impressions, and others are computer simulations. These images can be beautiful with a sense of reality and a non-reality. The play between these states is intriguing. I was thinking about this 'play' when I was painting Landscape of Everything. Rather than re-create something that looked 'real' I wanted to stimulate recognition, without a sense of surity.
The interesting fact that many images of cells etc under a microscope appear 'cosmic' [and vice versa], also got me thinking. The repetition of pattern across the vast scale of the universe is extraordinarily exciting. Yet, merely recording and showing the replication, for me at least, does not embrace its potential to go beyond the interest factor into realms where new ideas/insights maybe generated. Whilst Landscape of Everything is not a 'landscape' in the traditional sense, I have tried to elicit a sense of recognition of an 'environment' at the same time as stimulating fun, questions, debate and more...conversation maybe?
Regular readers will know of my keen interest in perspective and the potential for us to see multi-perspectives, even simultaneously. Certainly, modern cosmology has provided us with ample new viewpoints, which keep expanding, into vastness, the quantum and possibility. It also, I think, compels us to develop more sophisticated ideas of literal and metaphoric perspective that may lead to new skills and insights. Indeed, I argue, that notions of 'landscape' need to be untethered from Earth, especially in an age where, for example, we literally have a glorious amount of new visions of Earth from outer space.
In an increasingly globalised world, a cosmic perspective may afford us the opportunity to avoid [or stop] navel gazing. Planet Earth is our only home, for the foreseeable [and beyond] future and we need to work together to look after it, as well as collaboratively ensure that our immediate space environment is managed in a sustainably appropriate way. As I have written before...Earth maybe our home, but the Universe is our environment.
And, it did occur to me that my new painting could be just a bunch of coloured balls painted onto an interesting background. But....
Here's a few earlier posts which might interest you:
 My next solo exhibition
will be in 15- 27 October



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