Sunday, May 18, 2014


Prelude To Landscape Oil on linen 80 x 55 cm
In my last BLOG post Fingerprints of Existence I rambled on about a few being my thoughts on landscape. Regular readers will know that, in my paintings, I attempt to untether notions of landscape from Earth-bound horizons. They will also know that I suggest contemporary cosmological research is actually demanding us to rethink landscape in cosmic terms, hence we need to let go of Earth to conceptualise landscape in a more Universal [and maybe Multiversal] way! Indeed, Earth maybe our home, but the Universe is our environment.
So, in my last post Fingerprints of Existence I wrote, 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, now to Prelude To Landscape [above]...yes I had some fun with this one playing around with ideas of before and after the Big Bang, before and after time even. I've made the Big Bang an eye-like shape as if it is keeping an 'eye' on the past and future, the seen and unseen, pre and post history, before and after. Yet, the 'eye' is also like a mountain meeting its reflection...or a valley meeting its reflection. A mountain, as a metaphor, promises a number of things including overcoming adversity and having long distance vision. Its vulnerability is in its exposure. A valley promises protection, but may also herald enclosure. The 'eye' in Prelude To Landscape offers no horizon line, thus propelling us beyond the safety of known orientations into dizzying possibilities. The multi-coloured circles scramble any notion of a single flat horizon! And, of course, an 'eye' is not only the eye of eye-ball and pupil, but suggests things like soul, mind's eye and more. You might like to read a previous post called Dizzying Perspective where I discuss the benefits of vertigo, fear and loss of known perspectives.
Dizzying Perspective Oil on linen 50 x 50 cm
And, so to my much loved age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life. Yes, here it is again in Prelude To Landscape rooted and splayed, suggesting growth and life. The smaller tree could be the roots of the larger one, and vice versa. Indeed, no matter where we look into the Universe, there is no centre, no up nor down. Fascinating really! Yet, life exists...the elements laid bare billions of years ago at the Big Bang.
Landscape, and how we depict it, anchors us. It provides a sense of belonging and an expression of our understanding of environment. Well, it's time to rethink notions of landscape in terms of our Universal environment, which is physical and temporal, quantum and vast. The exciting promises for the future are accompanied by potential disasters. If we don't take on cosmic perspectives to view our planet and ourselves with, we may miss opportunities and remain ignorant of malevolent intents. Lack of 'environmental' understanding and 'myopic' vision [both literal and metaphoric] expose us to increased dangers of ignorance, underdeveloped critical thinking, compromised observational capacities to detect aberrant behaviour or activity...and more.
Let's look up from our computer screens, where the literal distance of a few cms is metaphoric for reduced 'vision' of all kinds. Rather, let's 'look out the windows' to gaze backwards and forwards into the window of time. Let's go beyond Earth-bound horizons to explore the multiple perspectives cosmology is imploring us to notice!
There's a new Think Tank/Institute in the US called Future Of Life Institute . I would love to be able to attend their events! Take a look at their website HERE and check out the people's a very impressive line up - Hawking, Bostrom, Tegmark and others. The Institute's mission is:
To catalyze and support research and initiatives for safeguarding life and developing optimistic visions of the future, including positive ways for humanity to steer its own course considering new technologies and challenges.



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