Monday, May 12, 2014


Fingerprints of Existence Oil on linen 36 x 36 cm
In this new painting Fingerprints of Existence I have tried to capture a sense of life from before time, after no time...without time...but with a kind of knowing or maybe a pre-knowing.
So what triggered me?
  • The recent discovery of what scientists think is the signature of gravitational waves from the BIG BANG. A discovery which apparently supports the theory of inflation and strengthens the proposition that we live in a Multiverse. If you want to know more start HERE with an article in Scientific American. these gravitational waves, in my mind at least, conjure thoughts about fingerprints and line-markings on our hands. So, they are like identifiers of some identifier of life? A marking of existence.
What made me think more?
  • Repetition of patterns in nature and the Universe. Think of the tree! Yes, I am going to write about my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. I suggest the tree became such an important and persistent symbol because it is such a remarkable reminder of life systems. Now, I am not suggesting that this has always been at a conscious level. For example, the human vascular system was not really understood until William Harvey's research in the early 17th century. However, prior to this there was an understanding of some kind of system. The branching tree shape, I propose, has always stirred a kind of knowing, as if stirring a memory, one at the cellular level. As the centuries have flown by science and exploration have revealed so much about our planet, humanity, the plant and animal kingdoms, space and the universe. The tree-like pattern repeats itself in the's like a universal fingerprint!
  • In the painting I imagine the tree trunk as holding the elements and conditions that existed just prior to the BIG BANG... just prior to the massive inflation that was the BANG. The tree cascades from the trunk, spreading its code for existence across the canvas ie: THE Universe/Multiverse.
The question that intrigues me...and I am sure
  • What was before the BIG BANG...before the elements and conditions that propelled the BANG?
Regular readers will know of my intense interest in the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. I employ its marvellous potency in many of my paintings. This potency is all about life! The more I explore its immense treasures the more I discover about myself and the world. It has not been an age-old symbol of life, 'speaking' to people across cultures and eons, without reason! It 'speaks' to us at all levels, across times, even outside time and space, within a Universal/Multiversal psyche and dimension! Maybe like a code teasing for attention...
And to my untether landscape from Earth-bound horizons. Regular readers will also know of this interest. In a sense Fingerprints of Existence is a landscape of existence! Well, when you think about it, the BIG BANG was actually the precursor...the prequel to it housed the elements that lead to landscape. And, when you look at your fingerprints, your palm, your cardiovascular system, your  neighbourhood water system and more...the branching shape of a tree unfolds revealing, what could be called, the template for landscape. It exists, quite rightly so too, inside us...maybe it is us?
Within an art historical context, the landscape genre has evolved over time. Sub-genres such as the urban landscape, the idyll, the sublime, bride in the landscape, traditional and modern, seascape, futurist, dystopian, environmental etc etc all carry elements of the human psyche and visually parlays humanity's understanding of its environment at particular times in history. With contemporary cosmological research revealing more and more about the Universe [if not the Multiverse] it's time to take landscape beyond Earth-bound horizons....because whilst Earth maybe our home, the Universe/multiverse is our environment. Metaphorically speaking the Universal/Multiversal perspective implores us to seek new dimensions within too.
A cosmic perspective of Earth begs questions of ownership of land...surely we are all custodians of the planet...manmade boundaries seem somewhat insignificant when viewed through a cosmic lens? At this point in time, we ie: humanity do not have an alternative home...Earth is it! Let's work together...can we do it? I suggest rethinking concepts of landscape, and how landscape is depicted, may help shift human perspectives on a multitude of things...
And, talking about landscape, ownership of land, human perspectives...I recently attended the opening of a very interesting and thought provoking exhibition Conflict: Contemporary Responses to War at the University of Queensland Art Museum. Indeed, conflict and war are, more often than not, about land, boundaries and what riches the land may hold. But, again a cosmic perspective proffers a very clear picture of the futility of war. I am going to return to the exhibition to have a closer look at the work of around 50 artists in the show.
I really enjoyed chatting to one of the artists Fatima Killeen, a Moroccan born Canberra based artist. Her work resonated with a deep sense of intelligence and heart. She has three colour collographs in the exhibition. They do not scream for attention, but when you look at them you are drawn in and captivated by, not only the literal layers of her technique, but also multiple layers of meaning.

In case you missed my post about my recent travels abroad please click HERE

Very cold day in Budapest


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