Monday, March 24, 2014


Shared Landscape Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm 2014
Recent cosmological discoveries such as the signature of gravitational waves generated in the nanoseconds after the Big Bang tell me one thing...we are all in this together. We share the Universe, if not the Multiverse! We are star dust just like everything else. I have previously written that this makes me feel very grateful and comfortable. Why? Because upon death we don't just disappear to nothing...we return to dust.

Please check out my previous post, which is actually a small online exhibition,  COSMOLOGY, BIG BANG AND THE MULTIVERSE for more!
I read an interesting article this morning, Neil deGrasse Tyson on Your Ego and the Cosmic Perspective by Maria Popova on Maria's great site called Brain Pickings. Neil de Grasse, an astrophysicist and 'cosmic sage' explains that for some people the enormity of a cosmic perspective strikes fear, whereas others feel a sense of awe that embraces rather than alienates them. Ego seems to have a bearing on how one might view the vastly expanding knowledge of our Universal/Multiversal environment. Those with an inflated ego may feel depressed, as if diminished. This is what de Grasse says,
So those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. Because when I look up in the universe, I know I’m small, but I’m also big. I’m big because I’m connected to the universe and the universe is connected to me.

Cosmic perspective is something regular readers know is dear to my heart. It's a way of viewing our planet, our Universal/Multiversal environment and ourselves differently [this may help issues of ego!]. But it is more complex than that, because a cosmic perspective, for me at least, is the ability to see multi-perspectives [literal and metaphoric], possibly even simultaneously. In a era where cosmology is revealing more and more about the close and far distances of our Universe/Multiverse I suggest that it is really important to practise seeing multi perspectives. But first we have to look up from our iPhones and computers! Maybe we need to be like a bug that can see all around itself at once....imagine where we might see new questions...and new answers never dreamed of!

SHARED LANDSCAPE: Oil on linen 100 x 70 cm
My new painting Shared Landscape plays with the ideas of...landscape and perspective. As regular readers know I am keen to untether concepts of landscape from Earth-bound horizons, because whilst Earth maybe our home, the Universe [which maybe a Multiverse] is our environment.

The landscape genre is as old as painting itself. It has helped orientate people to the land and their immediate environments. It has helped generate identity, a sense of belonging; visually describing pain of separation, concern and awe. Depictions of landscape, traditional and contemporary, can elicit a plethora of feelings, emotions, memories and intellectual curiosity. But, I suggest we need to think about how cosmology is inviting, if not demanding, us to engage with broader concepts of landscape. Landscape can help us connect to our cosmic environment, just as it helped connect people over eons to their known environments.

So, to my painting. The background is an indeterminate sky, land and/or sea...somewhere. The three planet-like shapes hover above this indeterminate 'landscape', yet they also reveal it. The planets' own landscapes promise potential land and water areas. The direction of light from the right, suggests a star/sun, thus day and night, potential seasons...time. Yet, the planetary landscapes are not complete...without acknowledging their broader environment...the one beyond their planetary horizons. This is why I have painted the planets as if incomplete. This incompleteness disrupts near-sighted horizons forcing a line of view beyond, into and around...multi-perspectives all at once, demanding our attention, our connection. A cosmic landscape!

So, like de Grasse says, So those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. 

And, to my recent painting and post: Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective
Life Takes A Cosmic Perspective Oil on linen 91 x 137 cm 2014
My painting Super Earths Discovered is a finalist in the award.
The exhibition of finalist paintings and some 3D works is really good. I am pleased to have been selected to be a part of the exhibition. My painting 'Super Earths Discovered' hangs with some great company. However, I did not win the prize. An artist from down south, Dena Kahan won...and a big congratulations to her! You can see details of the exhibition, the Stanthorpe Arts Festival and an image of Dena's winning work by visiting the Arts Festival page HERE

And here's an article which appeared in the local Stanthorpe Border Post
The exhibition continues until April 13.
Super Earths Discovered Oil on linen 80 x 140 cm 2013

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